Race day review – Sunday, November 21, 2021Friday, November 26, 2021
BY WES MARTIN
Jockey-turned-conditioner Tensang Chung declared two competitive entries, Blue Epiphany in the opening event on the 1000-metre round course and Gorgeous Gift in race eight.
Chung who made the transition to the training cohort over three decades ago had made 198 prior trips to the winners' enclosure and the 200-career milestone, therefore, had excellent prospects of becoming a reality.
Four-year-old Blue Epiphany, obviously difficult to train, was turned out in immaculate condition for this her sixth racecourse appearance and ran accordingly. Ridden by the frequently engaged apprentice Matthew Bennett (182 mounts this year), who kept the bay filly in a prominent position before she shot clear in the upper stretch to win by 6½ lengths at odds of 9/2.
Chung was, therefore, left with a three-hour wait until the eighth race scheduled for 3:30 pm. This event was a 1200-metre Restricted Allowance V for four-year-olds upwards each seeking a second career win. The race delivered the fans from the routine nature of the meet-up to that point. It was four horses across the track in the last 50 metres and Gorgeous Gift failed by a head to get on terms with the Patrick Fong-trained Dorthebutcher (6/1) ridden by Matthew Bennett for an ironical riding double.
Race two was won by the Philip Feanny-schooled juvenile Phoenix Risen at 1/5 favourite. The chestnut colt, a progeny of long-serving stallion Traditional, did not look the part with a time of 1:01.0 for the 1000 metres round, but it may not be wise to dismiss the likelihood he could compete successfully for a share of the impending major prizes. With Omar Walker aboard, the well-conformed two-year-old did not need more than gentle persuasion to go clear for a victory by four lengths.
Talented Tony K (2/1) ridden by Hakeem Pottinger and trained by Winchester McIntosh outsprinted eight rivals to win the 800-metre straight third event followed by 5/1 chance Timetosaygoodbye's narrow victory in the 1000-metre straight fourth with Roger Hewitt astride for trainer Donovan Russell.
The fifth was won by Kay Boy (Aaron Chatrie) at 3/1 for conditioner Gresford Smith's seventh success of the season. It must be noted that, of those seven wins by Smith, five have been ridden by Chatrie.
Walker was back in the winners' enclosure for his second winning mount of the day as he induced a successful late challenge for the Edward Walker-trained Legal Opportunity to score by 1 1/4 lengths at the end of the1,200-metre gallop of the sixth event.
Olde Wharf, trained by Gary Subratie, ridden by champion jockey-designate, Anthony Thomas, back from a two-day suspension and running for a claiming tag for the first time, outstayed his rivals to justify 6/5 favouritism over the 1820 metres of the seventh race.
The ninth and closing was won by Alimony ridden by Tevin Foster at 9/5 to give defending and two-time champion trainer Anthony Nunes his second win in the 24 hours between the two race meetings. This is significant in the battle with Jason DaCosta for 2021 honours. Nunes had an approximate $200,000 stake earnings lead before the start of the previous race meeting, but with DaCosta winless for these 19 races the lead now exceeds $1.9 million.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Gresford Smith for the performance of Kay Boy, who had been competing over longer distances but scored comfortably over 1000-metres straight to be credited with the Best Winning Gallop, while Aaron Chatrie takes the Jockeyship Award for inducing the final sprint that got the colt clear by a comfortable three-and-a-half lengths.