Race Day Review — Sunday, March 5, 2023
Hunter’s Ridge (6-5), a particularly fractious and temperamental sort, was less active in his resistance to handlers at the starting gates and was more cooperative when fitted with the blindfold. Ridden by the gifted former three-time champion Anthony Thomas for second-generation conditioner Steven Todd, the six-year-old horse was always in control of the pace and chalked up a five-and-a-half length success over the 800 metres straight of the opening event. Thomas was to return to the winners’ enclosure in the final event.
The Richard Azan-trained Power Ranking (3-5) needed a well-thought-out tactical approach to land the odds in the day’s second contested over 1,500 metres. Although blessed with the pace to be fully effective over shorter distances, champion jockey Dane Dawkins was prepared to be patient and positioned the four-year-colt perfectly to exploit a narrow opening at the far rails on turning for home. With the front-runners staying on well, Dawkins had to work hard but got the requisite response in driving the colt to victory by a half-a-length.
Bred, owned and trained by Carl Anderson, Mine That Cat (2-1), based on previous form, was obviously superior to his seven rivals and was in for tag of $750,000 in the third event. Crowd favourite Phillip Parchment was able to sit back several lengths off the pace of the 1,500-metre gallop until the front-runners were exhausted. The popular reinsman then sent the five-year-old horse to victory by eight-and-a-half lengths.
Four-kilogramme claiming jockey Chad Forbes graduated with the Jamaica Racing Commission Riding School class of 2019, but will now enjoy a moment to savour for the rest of his life. The surprisingly tall reinsman did not get the best of starts aboard 3-5 favourite Six Avenue, trained by Rohan Mathie, but got the five-year-old gelding sprinting to claim the rails early. Attacked throughout the 1,300 metres by the hugely competitive Christopher Mamdeen riding chief rival Hopenperseverance, Forbes kept his composure to turn back the challenge and secure his first career success.
A Chinese dish, Ha Gow Siu Mei (pork and shrimps), generated a great deal of curiosity when a horse with this name raced for the first time. Curiosity turned to ridicule when, well-fancied for 15 of his previous races, won only once. With Linton Steadman in the irons, Ha Gow Siu Mei (2-1) came in just over three lengths clear in the 1,000 metres straight gallop of race five to hand trainer Anthony Nunes the first of his two wins on the day.
Potential 2023 champion weight-claiming rider Ramon Nepare performed and confirmed his promise with his winning effort aboard Gary Crawford’s Devonte‘ (12-1). The strong four-year-old grey colt, always a bit difficult to handle, came with a smooth strong run over the last 200 metres to win the 1,300-metre sixth event in the final strides.
In race seven run over 1400 metres,Nepare’s chief threat Jordan Barrett rode Thegoodlife (3-1) saddled by Cashbert Khwalsingh to a near five-length victory.
The featured Milliard Ziadie Memorial Cup was renewed in honour of the conditioner who was champion from 1946 to 1960 on the grass of Knutsford Park (New Kingston). The great horseman migrated to Venezuela in the early sixties and won all the major races there. Fittingly, Anthony, the son of Nigel B Nunes, a great trainer of that era, saddled the winner of the event. Ridden by Tevin Foster, Nuclear Noon (3-5) was too strong for rivals and won by just over three lengths for the trainer’s second of the afternoon.
A favourite at 3-5, débutante Rose Apple, schooled by Keffin Murray and ridden by Thomas for his second on the card, made a promising start to her career with an all-the-way triumph in the ninth and closing event over the 1,000-metre straight gallop. If this well-grown filly develops the ability to match her looks, she will be competitive at much higher levels soon.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Gary Crawford for the performance of Devonte’ who delivered victory in the competitive sixth event with the Best Winning Gallop of the nine displayed. Dawkins is deserving of the Jockeyship Award for his riding acumen aboard Power Ranking in an event where there was little or no margin for error.