Race Day Review — Saturday, January 13, 2024
For three decades this writer has been advising that it creates confusion to have a combination of both metric measurements of weights and distances and the traditional pounds and furlongs in the form book.
In fact, at the time, it was pointed out to the operative responsible at the Jamaica Racing Commission that in a sport with its peculiar intrinsic verbiage, the Government, as it enforces the metric system, should not be insisting on compliance with the Weights & Measures Act in this special circumstance.
Note that in September 2015 the Act was amended to render non-compliance to metrication by business operators punishable by financial penalties.
The question to be asked now is if the promoting company Supreme Ventures Racing & Entertainment Limited is operating contrary to the Act by offering, effective January 13, 2024, the distance of races in furlongs only instead of kilometres.
Presented as a gaming product, given the unique nature of this sport globally, surely it cannot be unreasonable for an exemption to be made applicable.
Given the weight allotment, the featured traditional six furlongs St Catherine Cup, staged as race eight, was expected to be a mere formality for 1-9 favourite
Desert of Malibu (USA) to win; it was anything but.
In front at the winning post on five consecutive occasions but disqualified in its last, the big five-year-old mare was seemingly caught unaware when the starting gates flew and raced well behind before picking up her pace at halfway mark.
Seemingly having a lot to do from the top of the stretch to get on terms with clear leader
Madelyn’s Sunshine (USA),
Desert of Malibu (USA), conditioned by Gary Subratie, responded spectacularly to the efforts of 2022 champion reinsman Dane Dawkins to overpower the frontrunner close home and score by a length.
Now a five-year-old and racing for only the second occasion,
Time Keeper, schooled by Edward Walker, made winning look easier than maybe the case in reality.
Ridden by two-kilogramme claimer Shavon Townsend, the lightly raced progeny of
Here Comes Ben sprinted to the lead inside the first furlong of the five-and-a-half furlongs opener. Thereafter he condemned his nine fellow maiden rivals to vain pursuit scoring by three and a half lengths securing odds of 5-2 for his backers.
Based on his exploits in the final quarter of last season, Raddesh Roman, who is in the conversation as looking likely to challenge successfully for 2024 riding honours, was in double riding form on the 10-race programme.
Lord Caesar (3-5), trained by Anthony Nunes, was slow to realise what was required when the starting gates opened.
Wisely, Roman sat perfectly still allowing the colt to settle before hitting top stride. Rounding three of his leading rivals in the bend,
Lord Caesar accelerated away to win the five-and-a-half furlongs second race exertion by nearly five lengths in convincing fashion.
Confirming his riding double in race three, Roman had 2-1 shot
Zabratone in front early and the advantage was not threatened seriously over the distance of seven furlongs.
Saddled by Carlton Cunningham,
Zabratone won by nearly four lengths and was the first of two winners from the barn of the second-season trainer.
In posting 7-2 bet Speedie Hare (Samantha Fletcher) to win race five over 1,000 metres straight, Cunningham, in the securing of this two-timer accomplished something of a training feat in that the filly won in December 2022 and this was her first sign of form in seven races subsequently.
Even money favourite
Gilbert (USA), partnered by two-kilogramme claimer Shane Richardson and declared by former champion of 14 seasons Philip Feanny, beat four rivals to the fourth event over five furlongs straight by just under four lengths.
With Tevin Foster in the saddle for trainer Howard Jaghai, maiden
Sweet Victory released that delineation in style with a romp of over eight lengths in race six over seven furlongs.
Half an hour later there was another runaway with a 5-2 bet
Just Move In (Matthew Benett) dominating the seven furlongs of race seven by nearly 18 lengths for trainer Captain Marlon Brown.
Run at seven furlongs, race nine was won by
Storm (5-1) prepared by veteran Randolph Scott and under superb handling by 2019 champion Christopher Mamdeen lasted home by neck ahead of 6-5 favourite
Big Jule (utero).
In the nightcap, contested over the similar distance, popular trainer Patrick “Mice” Taylor posted
Awesome Anthony (5-1) in great condition with Javaniel Patterson executing the riding honours with skill and confidence to ensure victory.
Training Feat Award is presented to Randolph Scott for the
Best Winning Gallop displayed by
Storm, a nine-year-old gelding retaining enough ability to succeed at a claiming tag of $1 million. The performances of Dawkins (
Desert of Malibu, USA) and Patterson (
Awesome Anthony) merited serious consideration but, given the degree of difficulty, Mamdeen (Storm) gets the