There is a concerning knowledge deficit abroad in the industry that is mind-boggling. There was a dead heat for first place in the eighth event. It was perplexing to the presenter of the BM BetMakers Odds, an Australian gentleman, who understandably could not disguise his annoyance for this very surprising reason. He had to be at pains to inform the customers that in a two-way dead heat the starting price (odds) of both winners is reduced by half.
To say the least of it, the demand by those customers for full payment for each winner was embarrassing. It must be noted as well that the backers of each winner were unconvinced the horses were inseparable. One would have thought that by now all would be aware the photo finish apparatus utilised at the track is state-of-the-art computerised equipment capable of determining the times posted by each horse at the finish. The times of the dead heaters were, therefore, identical.
The featured second renewal of the 2000-metre Menudo Trophy (Grade I) had a field of five, including 2022 Horse of the Year Atomica (1-9) trained by Gary Subratie. Ridden by champion Dane Dawkins, this wonderful thoroughbred was always on her bridle despite an unconvincing attempt at pace-making by Jason DaCosta's Outbidder for the more fancied stablemate Miniature Man.
Atomica cruised over the first 1,600 metres before being urged early on the upper straight to go clear and beat Miniature Man by four lengths to be superior by a total of just over 16 lengths, which could have been twice this aggregate margin in their three races this season. Subratie secured a double with the victory of Sensational Move (3-2) in the 1,300-metre seventh event ridden by four-kilo claimer Richard Henry.
Staged as race nine, the secondary feature was the Jockeys Guild Trophy over 1,500 metres, and 2-5 favourite Neo Star, schooled by Peter-John Parsard, won by over 10 lengths for leading reinsman Reyan Lewis' first of two wins.
The opening event on the 10-race programme went to maiden Lady Karma (10-1), ridden by Anthony Allen to be nearly three lengths better than her nearest rival for trainer Fitznahum Williams in the gallop of 1,100 metres. Whilst in race two, Thunderstrike (4-5) favourite, piloted by Bebeto Harvey, won the 1,400-metre exertion by over three lengths for trainer Gary Crawford.
For the Anthony Nunes-trained and four-kilo claimer Jawara Steadman-ridden, victory in race three was a mere formality for three-year-old maiden Mr Senator. The colt was disqualified from first past the post two outings ago when scoring by four lengths, but this time made up for the misfortune by a romp of more than nine lengths over the 1,600-metre trip.
The fifth event, run over 1,200 metres, favourite at 1-2 Hoist The Mast, trained by former three-time champion conditioner Anthony Nunes, flew away from the gates to outsprint rivals early, and under the expert handling was the first of a riding double for Tevin Foster. Half an hour later Foster confirmed his double success aboard Gilbert (USA) over the 1,500 metres of race six.
The American colt was the first of two wins on the card for former 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny. The great conditioner had his second in the 1,000-metre straight nightcap in tandem with Reyan Lewis, who also confirmed his two-timer aboard the trainer's I've Got Magic (USA), winning by over 10 lengths.
In the aforementioned dead heat for first place in the 900-metre maiden race eight, the sophisticated technology determined the purses for the first two places were to be combined and shared equally. Noa Li (5-2), ridden by Jordan Barrett for Steven Todd led and was joined in the final stride by Blade (4-5), partnered by Raddesh Roman for owner/trainer Donavan Clarke.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Steven Todd for the performance of Noa Li, as this filly last raced on December 22, 2022 for Anthony Nunes' stable and clearly had a setback. The Best Winning Gallop was executed by Sensational Move under a highly intelligent display of patience early in the gallop by Richard Henry, holding up the colt before seizing the initiative 500 metres out to earn his second Jockeyship Award this season.