Race Day Review – Monday, October 16, 2023
THE opening event on a card of nine races was restricted to three-year-old maidens, with Skyrizi (2-1) running home a 14-length winner over the 1000-metre round course.
Saddled by Donovan Plummer, the medium-size chestnut colt was guided by Shamaree Muir for the first of his riding double.
On the topic of riding double success, Abigail Able had her first leg with Richard Azan’s Joblane (2-5) scoring by more than eight lengths over the 1200 metres of race two.
For veteran trainer Enos Brown, pleasant memories must return on Gold Cup days dating back to 1987. In that year he saddled Monday Morning, not only for success in the Derby but also to achieve the then rare feat of winning the Gold Cup with this impressive bay colt. For Brown, posting the winner of race three on today’s programme must have been very satisfying, although his 1-2 favourite Funometer (Bebeto Harvey) only won by a heart-stopping short head over the 1000-metre straight course.
In riding Jason DaCosta’s first of two wins on the day with 1-2 favourite Heart Of The Sea in the 1000-metre straight fourth event, four-kilogramme claimer Able confirmed her best day in the saddle with the second of the two wins.
For race five it was pleasing to see another veteran conditioner in the winners’ enclosure. Joseph Thomas declared Mister Mandate (5-2) with the hard-working reinsman Roger Hewitt, and at the end of the 1000-metre straight gallop the five-year-old chestnut gelding was four and a half lengths better than the closest rival.
Carlton Cunningham, a member of the 2023 Jamaca Racing Commission graduating class of trainers, enjoyed his fifth success to date from 35 starts with 4-5 favourite Regnant. Ridden by Javaneil Patterson from in front, the speedy but difficult to train five-year-old chestnut gelding never looked to surrender the lead over the 1100 metres of race six.
Meanwhile, having turned out in invincible condition thanks to Spencer Chung, Sonny T And Chippy (1-2) was always clear in the day’s seventh, and won the 1600-metre gallop by over four lengths.
Featured on the card was the 49th renewal of the 1400-metre Gold Cup. This staging was named in honour of 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny, who is the most successful conditioner of winners in the 49-year history of the event. She’s My Destiny (6-5), who specialised in dominating the early fractions in all but one of her 12 previous successes from 23 starts, was patiently ridden by three-kilogramme claimer Ramon Nepare to confirm DaCosta’s second of two wins on the day.
Mahogany (Robert Halledeen) sprinted to lead 800 metres out and turned for home clear. Taking She’s My Destiny off the bridle 300 metres from the finish, after being held up at third down the backstretch, the mare made her light impost (48 kilogrammes) tell as she stayed on to get on terms with the front-runner 50 metres out, going on to score by one and a half lengths.
In the closing event defeat was unlikely for the Fitzroy Glispie-bred, -owned and -trained 2023 runner-up in the Guineas, St Leger, and Derby. Truth be told, Money Miser (1-2), ridden by Muir for the second of his two winning mounts on the card, failed to impress and was less than fluent in battling to victory by just under two lengths.
Money Miser still has scope for improvement and may very well be competitive in the major races remaining on the calendar.
The Training Feat Award is presented to DaCosta for his departure from the customary front-running style of She’s My Destiny to perform the Best Winning Gallop. Nepare has no rivals for the Jockeyship Award as he executed the exacting strategic task to perfection.