A year ago, when the United Racehorse Trainers Association of Jamaica worked with promoters SVREL to stage this featured trophy event, the race day was designed to be special and memorable.
There was some level of sponsorship, with prizes available to be distributed to the deserving trainers. Today it was a mundane affair and, perhaps along with the recent anaemic availability of new foals, may well be deemed a reminder of the near 30-year slow burn of the once-ultra vibrant racing product.
Eight faced the starter to contest the 1820-metre seventh-race gallop, with St Leger and Derby distant fourth-place finisher D Head Cornerstone the 6-5 off time favourite.
Trained by title-chasing Gary Subratie and ridden by Reyan Lewis, the favourite was well off the strong pace set by 41-1 outsider The Citadel (Jerome Innis). However, he progressed steadily to lead inside the final 150 metres to be almost three lengths clear at the line for a fourth victory in 14 career starts.
The opener was won by the Adin Williams-owned and -trained seven-year-old dark-brown mare Supreme Star (7-2) who was well handled by three-kilo claiming jockey Shane Richardson for his seventh success from 85 opportunities this season. In race two, run over 1,500 metres, leading reinsman Dane Dawkins, in partnering Patrick Lynch's Charmin Beauty to victory at odds 8-5, proved to be the first of three wins for him and the first of two for the trainer.
Dawkins only waited half an hour to confirm his second, with the Jason DaCosta-schooled maiden juvenile She's Myhedgefund (5-2) scoring a near three-length victory in the traditional 1400-metre Abbie Grannum Memorial Cup run as race three.
In progressing to 88 wins, six more than winless-on-the-day chief rival and champion Anthony Thomas, Dawkins had Vincent Atkinson's Sensational Satin — favourite at 2-5 — thirteen lengths better than the nearest rival in the 1,100-metre eighth race. Starting at odds of 2-1 and ridden by Ramon Nepare, Gentle Giant (2-1) was saddled by veteran Phillip Lee and won the 1000-metre-straight ninth race.
Lynch's confirmation of double success came in the 1400-metre race four as Youville Pinnock broke the lean eight-month spell with 18-1 shot Tigray Express. Pinnock emphasised his return to form with victory by a short head aboard Dennis Pryce's Turnonthelight (12-1) in the tenth and final event. It was akin to a colourful stampede throughout, ending with as many as eight of the 15 starters holding every chance with less than 100 of the 1400 metres remaining.
Jockey Raddesh Roman prefers nothing better than being on a front-runner. He found one in the form of the Patrick Smellie-owned and -conditioned six-year-old bay Sweet Surprise (5-1) in the 1200-metre fifth event. The mare ran well inside the last 150 metres to hold on by just over a length. Whilst in race six, run at 1000 metres straight, 4-1 shot Giant Wheeler was fastest under the guidance of claiming jockey Nicholas Hibbert for trainer Arnold Rambally.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Dennis Pryce for the performance of Turnonthelight in displaying the Best Winning Gallop during a hugely competitive contest, with Youville Pinnock's assistance deserving of the Jockeyship Award.