Derby-winning trainer Gary Subratie says it was his time to win, thanks grooms and his wifeTuesday, August 10, 2021
BY RUDDY ALLEN
“WHEN I saw jockey Shane [Ellis] taking Calculus off the rails and he started moving forward again, I knew that he would get there. It's just a godlike moment for me…as from this horse came to my stables I knew it was destiny and it would happen [winning the Derby]. Let me say that it was calculated destiny.
“The way that horse stepped up, coming from leading to then backing out and coming again, it is just something out of the ordinary. I think it was one of the most exciting Derby races I have watched since maybe Lucky Ole Sun in 1979.”
Those were the words of Derby-winning trainer Gary Subratie the morning after success in the Blue Riband event for the first time.
Subratie achieved this goal on Saturday, August 7 when his trainee Calculus won the 101st running of the Jamaica Derby.
“The feeling is great; I mean everybody goes into racing to win the Derby. The Jamaica Derby is the race that you want to win. I have had a Derby win before but that was in Trinidad, but this Derby is very special because it's in Jamaica. It is something that has been escaping me, having finished second and third before.
“This one [Jamaica Derby] was particularly pleasing because, coming into this year, I didn't see myself even having a chance in the Classics because I didn't have competitive horses for the Classics at the time. We acquired this horse [ Calculus] about seven to eight weeks ago and it has been no looking back since.
“We didn't get him on any winning streak, he [ Calculus] was out of the frame in the 2000 Guineas and for him to have stepped up like that is exceptional,” Subratie said.
Calculus ( Sensational Slam – Trinket Box) completed the final jewel in the Triple Crown series of races in a time of 2:37.4.
“The performance was tough as well as excellent. Calculus got bumped going into the first turn; he got locked down on the rails where the going was heavy.
“With two furlongs to go I thought I had lost the race as Calculus dropped out with three horses in front of him, moving from second to fourth. I said something was wrong, as he wanted to get off the rails, and that is what Shane did to earn the victory.
Subratie said that Calculus came out of the Jamaica Derby in good order and that he would give his charge some time off.
“He came out of the race very good; he ate out clean. Everything is good with him.
“I am going to give him a few days off to get back fresh and happy, and then we start again. You know after racing they [horses] usually come down a little, so Calculus needs time to recoup,” Subratie said.
Subratie then acknowledged those who have supported him.
“I want to say special thanks to the owners, Chevan Maharaj and his father Deo, and thanks to the grooms at the stables and to all my owners who have supported me. They have always been around and have pulled me through some tough times. Everybody came together for this race and that was very special and I want to tell them thanks — especially the grooms.
“A special word to my lovely wife, Shirley: I could not have done all of this without her. She has been there with me from day one, giving encouragement and guidance.
As to his chances of notching his first championship title, Subratie said: “The trainers' championship is possible when I have horses like Calculus. I do have some horses in Open and Overnight Allowance but where I am weak is with the two-year-olds. My other horses are there hustling and they are winning their one and two races. At present I have 30-odd horses, and the bigger barns have their 60 and 70 horses, so I have just to take it one day at a time.”