Early scare did not affect Desert of Malibu
the starting gates opened for the St Catherine Cup on Saturday, January 13, 2024, trainer Gary Subratie admitted that he had given up on his chances of winning the feature race after his charge
Desert of Malibu
, almost unseating her rider.
Desert of Malibu, a five-year-old, American-bred chestnut mare, was able to stride forward in time to nip
Madelyn’s Sunshine close to home for the victory in the 6-furlong call. She won the Open Allowance race for three-year-olds and upward in a time of 1:12.3 (22.2 x 46.1).
“I gave up on her [
Desert of Malibu] winning after the starting gates opened because she was too far behind,” Subratie said.
“But when I saw her coming up the straight, I realised that she just started to get going, and Dane [Dawkins] finished the race well. He didn’t beat her up too much, but she had to do more work than she normally would have. It was a very good performance, and we just have to take it one race at a time.
“We are looking for a race, maybe in three to four weeks, and then we will move from there. If you took off the bad break, she would have probably run 1:11 and change, but that’s fine, as we will take what we get. She won, and that’s the most important thing,” Subratie continued.
From the start of the race,
Madelyn’s Sunshine (Tevin Foster) led
Emperorofthecats (Shavon Townsend) and
Press Conference (Roger Hewitt). The runners’ order remained unchanged as they approached the half-mile (800-meter) turn, with
Desert of Malibu continuing to lag behind the field under Dane Dawkins.
In the stretch drive,
Madelyn’s Sunshine kicked on, then
Desert of Malibu burst under maximum urgings from Dawkins to ensure she has now passed the winning post in front in all six races on home soil. Her official record, however, reads five victories from six starts since her prior win was disqualified.
Emperorofthecats finished in third place, 6¾ lengths behind second-place
Desert of Malibu had a very light preparation process coming into this race as she already knows how to gallop. I just put some stamina work into her, and she ran. I have been training her to come off the pace, but that wasn’t the plan today. The plan was to get her up with the pace and ride his race, but she is a great horse. Based on what I saw her do against these, she is a great horse,” Subratie said.