Perfect Neighbour the true 'Governor'

…wins GG Stakes for 4th time, earns over $26 million in lifetime

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Perfect Neighbour, the Wayne DaCosta-conditioned eight-year-old dark bay gelding, achieved the rare feat of winning the 10-furlong (2,000m) Governor General's (GG) Stakes for the fourth time in the space of six years at Caymanas Park yesterday.

The former Derby and St Leger won the Grade One event in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and now 2018, making him the undisputed 'Governor'.

Although getting on in years and not the force he once was, Perfect Neighbour, as is typical, relished the two turns and came with a strong run in deep stretch to beat his younger rivals by a length and a quarter in a time of 2:07.3, after recording splits of 24.1. 51.2, 1:15.1 and 1:39.4.

In winning this year's GG Stakes Perfect Neighbour earned just over $700,000, thereby taking his lifetime earnings to beyond the $26-million mark. He thus became the third horse in local racing history to achieve this landmark, following in the hoof prints of his stablemates She's A Maneater and Seeking My Dream.

Perfect Neighbour tracked the leaders from last position in the small field of five runners from the start.

The far-striding Natural Selection offspring started to round horses at the six-furlong (1,200m) point as stable companion Dysfunctional (Anthony Thomas) continued to press the pace ahead of Houdini's Magic (Wesley Henry) and Superluminal (Javaniel Patterson).

The decisive move came approaching the final bend when Omar Walker sent through Perfect Neighbour to pick up the lead full of running, and from that point it was clear that he would win.

However, in deep stretch Superluminal and Dysfunctional refused to lay back and kept their challenges alive, but Perfect Neighbour remained strong.

Dysfunctional rallied on the inside rails to grab second place, giving owner Jeffrey Mordecai and DaCosta a one-two finish. Superluminal ended in third place, while Hover Craft, also from the barn of the winner, came on for fourth place.

It was the second winner of the 11-race programme for the combination of DaCosta and Walker, as the two paired up with Miss Formality to win the Knutsford Park Cup co-feature.

Miss Formality, coming off a five-month layoff, turned on the pressure in deep stretch and just held off the late-surging Apollo Bay (Dane Dawkins) by three parts of a length.

Miss Formality ran the Restricted Allowance event for native-bred three-year-olds non-winners of two in 1:14.0.

Also with two winners on the day was the team of trainer Anthony Nunes and jockey Dick Cardenas. The duo won with Ice Cold in the second race over the five straight (1,000m), and again with Mirabilis in the 10th race over six and a half furlongs (1,300m).

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