NEW YEAR’S DAY REVIEW — MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 2024
The featured 1,700-metre race seven, the third renewal of the Ian Levy Cup, was won predictably by Atomica (Dane Dawkins). The Gary Subratie conditioned champion outstayed US-bred four-year-old colt Is That A Fact nearly six lengths. Race 10 supporting the feature was the traditional 1,300-metre New Year Day’s Trophy. Even money favourite Eazy Peazy, saddled by veteran Phillip Lee, made all the running to secure a two and a half-length victory for Tevin Foster to close a riding triple.
In the opening event, run at 1,400 metres, it was 7-2 against six-year-old mare Thegoodlife ridden by Ramon Nepare, who was top claiming jockey in 2023 with 18 winners. Declared by Cashbert Khawalsingh, who had 122 starters in 2023, Thegoodlife was always in control of the pace of the 1,400-metre gallop and scored by nearly three lengths.
Jason DaCosta, 2022 and 2023 champion conditioner was, off the mark immediately with well-conformed three-year-old filly Sparkles (1-5) releasing her maiden certificate. She was in no more than a canter taking her 12 lengths clear of the nearest of six rivals with newly crowned 2023 titlist Reyan Lewis with 99 wins at the reins.
With the starter about to bring the six three-year-old maidens under orders for the 800-metre straight race three, a convergence of fractious antics by two and injury to another reduced the field by half. Debutant Playfair (1-5), schooled by former three-time champion Anthony Nunes, for the first of a stable double and a riding double for Raddesh Roman, won the dash by a head. Nunes’ Sensational Slam colt matched strides with a fellow first-timer Military Machine (Matthew Bennett), trained by Capt Marlon Brown, prevail by a head eventually.
In race four, sprinted over 1,000 metres straight, Basilicus (2-5) returned to form for trainer Michael Spencer. This seven-year-old mare’s near six-length advantage gave Tevin Foster, who is in the conversation as a likely champion this season, the first of his riding triple. Whilst in race five over a similar distance, nine-year-old mare Supreme Star (5-2), at surprisingly short odds, outpaced 10 rivals to score by nearly four lengths with two-kilo claimer Shavon Townsend executing the riding honours for trainer Errol Burke.
In race six, Raddesh Roman, who is also considered a title hopeful in 2024, used the opportunity to confirm his second winner from three rides on the card. Partnering progressive Neo Star (utero), Roman guided the nicely built five-year-old bay to score by just under four lengths over the 1,820 metres course. Trained by Peter-John Parsard, Neo Star (utero) made the transition from a maiden winner on September 9 to Overnight Allowance qualification adding three more by November 4 and now up to Open Allowance with today’s triumph.
Foster rode the second of his three winning mounts in the 1,000-metre straight eighth event aboard Volatility (3-2) and in the process was joined in winners’ enclosure by trainer Nunes for second from his expansive stable. Race nine staged as the McKay Security Limited Trophy and contested over 1,400 metres was won from in front by Ali (Matthew Bennett). Trained by Donwell Dawes, the eight-year-old chestnut horse had his rivals in trouble from 1,000 metres out and rewarded his backers with surprisingly good odds of 6-1.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Peter-John Parsard for the improved performance of Neo Star (utero) as the horse was not the best off in the handicap weight allotment but still delivered the Best Winning Gallop. Raddesh Roman earns the Jockeyship Award for his riding double, which, in terms of composure and judgement of pace, etc required the full range of his skill set.