JOCKEY Allen “Bongo John” Maragh had the distinction of winning two Jamaica St Leger Classic races — in 2003 with Hercomesfudgie and in 2005 with Miracle Man — both horses owned by the late Joseph Duany.
Trained by Philip Feanny, Herecomesfudgie came with a strong run in deep stretch to beat stablemate A King is Born (Winston Griffiths) by a neck. Hecomesfudgie won the $2.5-million, Cable and Wireless (Mobile)-sponsored Jamaica St Leger over 10 furlongs (2,00m) in a time of 2:08.3, denying A King Is Born Triple Crown glory.
While Miracle Man, trained by Allan Williams, Miracle Man (Laws of the Sea – Hya) won the St Leger in a time of 2:06.2.
“It always feels good to win a race; it doesn’t matter which race but it is more recognised when you win big races. Any winning is better than finishing second place, and to win two St Leger races is just amazing and I am grateful,” Maragh said.
“Basically the first one [Herecomesfudgie] was tough because A King Is Born looked hard to beat that year and he was going for the Triple Crown. So I said, ‘The only way that I can beat him is to let him beat himself by starting to press from the beginning and save my horse as much as possible.’ And then it just happened that, in the end, A King Is Born was getting tired and I came and caught him on the wire.
“Miracle Man now, he was more of a ‘soup’. All I had to do was to not let them [horses] get away from me and don’t come too late. I just rode near to the pace and that was all. He was an easy one; Miracle Man was a ‘soup’,” Maragh said.
Maragh then shared his riding tactics used for both horses.
“Don’t get into trouble, don’t let any of the horses get too far away from you, and don’t come too late. And so when you have a good horse that’s the way what you need to go,“ said.
For Maragh, Miracle Man was special. ”I was close to Joe Duany, the owner of Miracle Man, who loved that horse more than cook food. Miracle Man turned out to be one of the best horses to ever race at Caymanas Park and his victory in the Caribbean Confraternity proved how good he was. It was an honour to partner with this great horses and it was made even more special because of the close relationship I had with the owner, Joe Duany.“