Sports

The Review – The Analysis for Wednesday, November 27, 2019

BY WES MARTIN
Observer writer

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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Success in the opening event was the exclusive domain of those who knew the condition of winner Timetosaygoodbye, who last raced on July 21, 2018. The odds of 9/1 against suggested that more than a few railbirds had an idea, so its congratulations to trainer Joseph Thomas who was confident enough to give apprentice Matthew Bennett his second career win.

Trainer Christopher Pierre had his first 2019 trip to the winners' enclosure when the Oakridge Farms Fearless Vison-bred filly Fearless Abi (Dane Dawkins), duly confirmed the promise she showed 10 days ago when finishing second on debut. Fearless Abbi quickly following up to score in the day's second event.

Apprentice Shane Richardson gave a competent display to induce Robert Pearson's Fresh Cash to outstay rivals in the third and also got a talking point underway.

Richardson was slated to ride Anthony Nunes' recent acquisition Sir Frederick in the 11th and closing event, a race with only riders who have not won two races since January 01, 2019 eligible. It was indeed a sporting gesture on the part of the owners and trainers in honouring this condition to limit their choice of jockeys. However, they should not be burdened with the added responsibility of finding replacements in these circumstances.

In fact, two years ago, a horse in question was declared a non-runner with the trainer unable to find an eligible replacement jockey on the day.

Races with this similar stipulation in the conditions take place in England, but this specific condition is superseded by all declarations and this should be the same here. Alternatively, a race with this condition could be the first on the card. What if three or more of these riders had won previous races?

Nunes obviously recognised that Fresh Cash had excellent winning prospects and had apprentice Anthony Allen on standby in case Richardson was rendered ineligible. Allen duly guided the nine-year-old Sir Frederick to a comfortable victory.

The fourth event heralded the start of the Dane Nelson show with the former two-time champion jockey winning this with Rowan Mathie's A Seh Soup followed in the fifth by a very clever tactical piece of jockeyship to have Ryan Derby's late-running Royal Vibes in front 1,100 metres from the finish.

Nelson's winning commission was earned easily when Anthony Nunes' Rohan Kabir outstayed the opposition in the sixth, but the “Warrior Chief” had to work hard for trainer Errol Pottinger's Okahumpka to last home by a neck after being in front early in the straight.

The Nelson romp was interrupted, without a ride in the eighth, but I am sure he was happy to see colleague Paul Francis win his first of the season with Cruise Lava Cruise, thus enabling trainer Thomas to make a second trip to the winners' enclosure.

The ninth went to Gary Subratie's far-striding filly Another Affair with champion Anthony Thomas serving up another smooth and efficient performance in the saddle, while Nelson only managed third with Steven Todd's promising debutant filly Suasion.

The Nelson service was restored when the most improved three-year-old Toona Cilata won the 10th and feature Nigel B Nunes Memorial easily. This gave second-generation title-chasing trainer Nunes the satisfaction of honouring his late father appropriately with three wins on the card. He now leads the trainers standing by approximately $5.72 million over 18-time and defending champion Wayne DaCosta who was winless on the day.

THE AWARDS

The Training Feat Award goes to Joseph Thomas for the winning performance of Timetosaygoodbye from a 16-month layoff. The Best Winning Gallop is presented to nine-year-old Royal Vibes and the Jockeyship Award to Dane Nelson for his superb strategic handling of the aged gelding.


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