Kilowatt and the Gold Cup, plus Rameses
Race day review – Saturday, September 18, 2021Tuesday, September 21, 2021
BY WES MARTIN
FEATURED on the nine-race card was Kilowatt, in honour of the English-bred importee.
Trained by Valbert Marlowe, late father of current licensee Michael, the impressive dark bay thoroughbred won the inaugural staging of the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup in 1967, repeated in 1968, missed the 1969 race due to injury after declaration, but returned triumphantly at five years old in 1970. This year's event, run as the seventh race, was won by top handicapper Mahogany (Dane Dawkins) galloping home 8 lengths clear at 1/5 favourite for trainer Ian Parsard.
Prior to 1967, there were no major races over 1400 metres for the top class. Conceptually, it was then decided this distance would be ideal as there was the ever-present distinct possibility that in any given year it could be won by an out and out sprinter or a horse whose optimum trip is further. Separate and apart from the publication of the handicap weights on the Monday, six days in advance of the Saturday post time which was the practice then, the pre-race analysis by the pundits generated far more interest than normal.
This was driven by the novelty of the event, with its substantial record purse on offer by the Cigarette Company of Jamaica Ltd and the nomination of a hugely talented two-year old named Rameses. Ridden by apprentice Alphanso Holm, Rameses set a very strong pace – confirming he was special – until overhauled by Kilowatt midway the final furlong. The performance of the juvenile is still a significant talking point, even over a half a century later.
This strong and stocky grey colt, who had earned A-class classification, would go on to win the nine-furlong 2000 Guineas and the Jamaica Derby the following year by wide margins. Rameses, almost sure to have been the first Triple Crown winner at the eight-year-old Caymanas race track, died of a heart attack during a subsequent race in preparation for the final St Leger Classic.
There was speculation that his sire, Blue Nile had passed on genetically a pulmonary flaw since others of his progeny had suffered the same fate prior. The handicappers at British Jockey Club in Portman Square, London, England, maintained a World Free Handicap rating with the maximum weight at 133 lb and the minimum 98 lb and, on submission of his performances, Rameses was rated at 112 lb.
There, short-priced winning favourites scattered over the remainder of the card – commencing with the Richard Phillips-trained maiden Aphelios (6/5) ridden by Linton Steadman in the day's 1600-metre first for the popular reinsman to win his first of two races on the day.
Trainer Ray Phillips had his fourth success of season when 4/5 favourite Blood Fire (Andre Powell) duelled for a winning margin of a head in the third event over 1600 metres.
Edward Stanberry was in the winners' enclosure following victory by maiden Vice Cherry Pie (Ruja Lahoe) in the 900-metre straight third event at 6/5 favourite.
The favourite trend was continued in the fourth, with the Colin Ferguson charge Princess Kyra (4/5) skating in over seven lengths ahead of rivals in the 1100-metre fourth race.
Steadman rode Coco Chanel (5/2) for his second winning mount on the card, with the mare returning to form in this 1500-metre contest for conditioner Gregory Forsyth.
In race six, starting at the 1200-metre point, the photo finish technology was required to confirm that Speechless, ridden by Javaniel Patterson for trainer Gary Crawford, was the indeed the short head winner.
Joint champion and leading jockey this season, Anthony Thomas piloted the winners of races eight (over 1820 metres) and nine (over 1200 metres), with Sunshine Cat (9/1) and Ianzha Links (3/5) trained by Johnny Wilmot and Jason DaCosta, respectively.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Johnny Wilmot for turning around the form of Sunshine Cat who won in December 2019, was unraced in 2020, and who was well behind by an accumulated margin of 140 lengths in nine starts in 2021. The seven-year-old mare displayed the Best Winning Gallop in renewing her challenge successfully when headed 100 metres out to score by a short head.
The exceptionally talented Thomas was at his best in this clash with former champion Dick Cardenas, who partnered loser Mirabilis. Judging the pace of the gallop precisely to strike the front in the upper homestretch, Thomas, for the Jockeyship Award, produced the appropriate response when a split-second change of whip-hand from right to left induced Sunshine Cat to battle her way back to the important marginal advantage close to home.