'Warrior Chief' joins exclusive 1000 winners' club

By Ruddy Allen
Observer staff reporter

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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Former three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson was once again the toast of Caymanas Park as the bustling rider reached the landmark of 1,000 career wins yesterday.

Nelson, popularly known as “Warrior Chief”, achieved his milestone in the ninth race when he won aboard the Anthony Nunes-trained Musketoon over six and a half furlongs (1,300m). Musketoon won ahead of Supreme Authority and Concur in a time of 1:23.2 minutes for the distance.

The “Warrior Chief”, who started the day on 998 winners, had earlier won aboard Nuclear Lava in the Joseph Armond Memorial Trophy feature (third race) to set the stage for his accomplishment. Nuclear Lava, trained by Everal Francis, won by a length and a half ahead of Dezzy The Genius and Dyna's Pride over nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) in a final time of 2:00.1.

“It is a very wonderful feeling to have won so many races in my career. To be honest, 1,000 winners are a lot of winners and I am grateful for achieving that milestone. I have been through so much and I have done so much and I am just grateful for everything.

“Thanks to the owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, and everyone for their support throughout the years, and I will continue to ride horses for as long as possible. Thank you all for all the encouragement,” an elated Nelson told the Jamaica Observer.

Nelson is the eighth jockey to have ridden 1,000 or more winners at Caymanas Park, following in the footsteps of Winston Griffiths, Charles Hussey, Trevor Simpson, Omar Walker, Emilio Rodriquez, Shane Ellis, and Andrew Ramgeet.

Meanwhile, Hover Craft, under a patient ride from apprentice Christopher Mamdeen, won the top-rated Open Allowance event over nine furlongs and 25 yards.

Hover Craft came from far behind, bursting through horses inside the final furlong to win, going away by 2 lengths ahead of Saratoga Sight and Uncle Frank in a very impressive time of 1:56.3 minutes.

It was the second winner on the card for trainer Wayne DaCosta as he had earlier saddled Rojorn Di Pilot in the first race over five furlongs (1,000m) straight.

Both winners helped DaCosta to cut into Anthony Nunes' lead in the race for the 2018 trainers' championship.

Racing continues on Saturday with the running of the War Zone Trophy.

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