Sports

Old stager Campesino gets back on track

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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The aged warrior Campesino took only three starts after a long layoff to find himself in the winners' enclosure again.

Campesino powered his way to victory in the top-rated Open Allowance event at Caymanas Park yesterday. Veteran jockey Ian “Dolly Baby” Spence, who was in the saddle, kept the former Caribbean Sprint Championship winner off the pace and instead brought the eighth-year-old bay gelding for his challenge inside the final furlong and a half (300m) of the five-furlong (1,000m) straight event for three-year-olds and upward.

A fierce battle raged between Campesino on the inside rails and Orpheus (Linton Steadman) who had the lead with a furlong to go (200m), but the superior class of Campesino took over near the end and he eventually went on to win by a head.

Armageddon, under a curious ride from apprentice Odeen Edwards, came flying in the end on the outside of all runners but fell short in the end and had to settle for second money. Armageddon was drawn at post-position one.

Orpheus finished third, with Another Bullet (Dick Cardenas) fourth. The howling odds on favourite, Poker Star (Omar Walker) staggered out of the starting gates, never recovered and finished down the track.

Campesino's final time for the event was 59.3, after recording splits of 22.2 and 45.1.

Female apprentice Natalie Berger had the best day in the saddle since starting her career in 2015, when she rode two winners on the nine-race card. Berger won aboard Strikinglygeorgeous in the sixth race for trainer Ray Phillips, and Classy Vishala in the seventh race for trainer Delroy Wisdom. Those winners took the Gregory Park native to 12 winners for the season.

Also on the day, trainer Fitzgerald Richards notched his 100th career win when Pinders Valley, ridden by Dane Dawkins, won the ninth and final event over five furlongs (1000m) round, at odds of 14-1.

Racing continues next Saturday with the running of the $4-million Sagicor Bank Jamaica St Leger. This is the final Classic race for this season. The race has attracted 16 provbisional starters.

— Ruddy Allen

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