Leaders dominate on a sloppy track Review of race day — Saturday, August 21, 2021Tuesday, August 24, 2021
BY WES MARTIN
IN the 1500-metre opening event run on a sloppy surface, the form players' expectation was dealt a serious blow. A 20/1 shot in the form of Winx Choice , conditioned by second-generation horseman Steven Todd, held off the late challenge of 19/1 chance A Seh Soup, with Stallwalkin'girl at 27/1 finishing third. Favourite Mirabilis , ridden by Anthony Thomas in the absence of Dick Cardenas who is in self-isolation after a brief trip overseas, was a non-threatening fourth.
Todd's five-year-old mare was ridden by Ruja Lahoe — slated to have his best day in his profession in over five years, this being the first of a double for the well-experienced, competent reinsman who should be getting far more opportunities. Lahoe's double was confirmed in the 1100-metre seventh race, with trainer Michael Beecham's Awesome Aviator getting home by a short head at odds of 3/1.
Former six-time champion Omar Walker had very little to do aboard owner/trainer Boris McIntosh's seven-year-old gelding Senor Kwanzi to win the 1400-metre second race-gallop. Obviously enjoying the muddy surface underfoot Senor Kwanzi, who has been absent from the winners' enclosure for over two years, was always well clear and eventually scored by five lengths as the even money favourite.
Race three over 1400 metres had an interesting driving finish, with on-the-bridle pacemaker Let Him Fly (Shane Ellis) running well away from the far rails turning for home and failing by a neck to hold the challenge of the Anthony Thomas-partnered 6/5 favourite Rohan Kabir. Trainer Johnny Wilmot welcomed his 19th winner of the season from 68 starts to continue his good strike rate.
The style in which United States-bred, three-year-old gelding I Am Fred delivered his second-straight victory in five starts leaves one hoping this is his progressive form, given the dearth of talent in the top class. Although slow to begin galloping at the start of the 1500-metre Restricted Stakes fourth race, the well-conformed bay cruised to the front 750 metres out and scored by five lengths, easing down at odds of 7/2. Ridden by Phillip Parchment for Jason DaCosta, I Am Fred was win number two on the card for the second-generation cohort of trainers.
There were no concerning moments for owner-trainer Lawrence Freemantle as four-year-old filly Nina Dorada cantered in by over 13 lengths to release her maiden label, with Javaniel Patterson riding his first of two on the card in the 1300-metre fifth event.
Half an hour later the 1200-metre sixth went in similar fashion to the Welsh Soutar-trained four-year-old Take Two who scored with a dominant 9½-length victory margin as the even money favourite.
Wide margins of victory and even money favourites seemed to be catching phenomena as after the short-head squeak by Awesome Glitter in the seventh, the Carl Anderson-bred, -owned and -trained three-year-old colt Mine That Cat (Youville Pinnock) skipped away by over seven lengths in the 1200-metre eighth event to double the cash staked on the win tickets.
This aforementioned phenomenon was interrupted in the 1000-metre straight ninth event by 8/1 chance Pretty Cash's narrow victory by a neck for Dawkins' second winning mount. This was the third win of the day for a second-generation trainer, with Gary Subratie saddling the USA-bred three-year-old for her maiden triumph. The attractive chestnut filly sprinted greenly throughout and looks capable of significant improvement going forward.
Best Daughter Ever's five-length win margin in the nightcap confirmed the trend of the phenomena of wide margins and even money winners and the second win for jockey Javaniel Patterson. In fact it was also the third United States-bred winner on the card. Trained by Vincent Atkinson, the huge grey filly has been absent since September 20 of last year and had registered one win which came over this same 1820-metre distance from her five previous appearances.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Vincent Atkinson for his patient and meticulous preparation of Best Daughter Ever. Getting this filly, who delivered the Best Winning Gallop on the card, race-ready has been a huge challenge. The Jockeyship Award is deservedly for Ruja Lahoe for his handling of Awesome Glitter who was headed 75 metres out but was induced by his skills to stage the winning rally.