Horse Racing

A truly 'Classical' run by I Am Di One

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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In a performance which truly illustrated the elements of class, talent and the resoluteness to win, I Am Di One , ridden by visiting Barbadian but Canadian-based jockey Simon Husbands, won the 45th running of the 1000 Guineas Classic race sponsored by Supreme Ventures Limited at Caymanas Park yesterday.

It was a fantastic run, one that quite befitted a Classic race, and to make her run even more enthralling was the fact that I Am Di One was racing for only the second time. I Am Di One was locked in a duel with Lady Blue (Omar Walker) navigating the half-mile (800m) turn but with a brilliant tactical ride from Husbands, I Am Di One gained the ascendancy a furlong and half (300m) out and ran home easily by 3 lengths.

I Am Di One, a particular favourite of Husbands, benefited from a change of tactics by her rider probably because she was drawn at post-position number 2 in the 12-horse field which started in the season's first Classic. In her first race just three weeks ago, I Am Di One came from far off to win, and this time she led.

Lady Blue, the Hotline and Thornbird Stakes winner, ran the race of her life to finish in second place but she was simply undone by the far better horse on the day. Casual Drink (Aaron Chatrie) came with a strong run to finish third and Envisaged (Linton Steadman) fourth.

Bred by Adore The Gold out of the Footloose 11 mare It Is I, I Am Di One, posted a final time of 1:40.1 with fast and chipping splits of 22.4, 45.4 and 1:10.0.

For trainer Anthony Nunes, it was his third 1000 Guineas winner as he saddled Latonia in 2004 and Selectabook in 2013.

“How can I not be pleased when you win a filly's Guineas with a filly that made her debut three weeks ago? We knew that she was extremely talented but we were just worried about her experience, and today her talent shone through brightly. He (Simon) knows her well and was confident to the chances of the filly. In fact, I gave him (Simon) no instructions; I just told him to ride her as if he was the owner and that he did,” Nunes told the Jamaica Observer.

Husbands, who is scheduled to depart the island tomorrow for Canada, was winning his first 1000 Guineas but stated in his post-race interview that he maybe tempted to stay for the entire Classic season with the 10-furlong, Jamaica Oaks next on the agenda for the fillies.

“Oh, it is very good winning a Classic race in Jamaica. I won two Classics before but this is my first 1000 Guineas winner and I am happy, I could have won it today (Saturday). This horse is a very good horse and will go on to achieve great things. I have a lot of confidence in her ( I Am Di One),” Husbands said.

I Am Di One was one of four winners on the 11-race programme for Nunes, who is chasing his first trainers' championship.

Nunes also saddled Exhilarate (Anthony Thomas) in the sixth race over five furlongs (1,000m) straight; Bruce Wayne (Robert Halledeen) in the seventh race over 6 furlongs (1,300m) and Prince Charles (Robert Halledeen) in the 11th and final event over 5 furlongs (1,100m).

Apprentice Christopher Mamdeen won three races to take the jockey's honours. Mamdeen won aboard Let It Snow, Prince Kamali and God Of Love, and is now one ahead of Omar Walker in the jockeys' championship. Mamdeen has won 26 winners thus far for the year and Walker who was winless on the day has 25 winners.

Racing continues today with the 45th running of the 2000 Guineas. This is a race in which Nunes again holds the key.


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