The Kingston – a race for the ages
The Classic races' floodgates are now openedTuesday, May 11, 2021
PUNTERS, the promoting company and simply all fans of horse racing can joyously celebrate after the first instalment of the 7½-furlong Kingston Stakes, confined to three-year-old colts and geldings, at Caymanas Park on Saturday, May 8, 2021.
The contest, which covered 7 1/2 furlongs, was expected to be a close encounter with champion two-year-old of 2020, Further and Beyond from the shed row of trainer Anthony Nunes allowing weight to all of his 11 rivals in the Kingston.
When the starter pressed his button to signal the beginning of the Kingston it was Regnant (Shane Ellis) who assumed the lead, closely tracked by Regal and Royal (Tevin Foster), Billy Whizz (Anthony Thomas) on the inside rails and Further and Beyond (Dane Nelson). At this stage of the contest (after two furlongs) Miniature Man (Dick Cardenas) was not in the picture, racing at the back of the mid-pack.
Leaving the half mile pole, Nelson decided to put Further and Beyond in front as Regnant started to fade, with Billy Whizz and Regal and Royal still prominent and Miniature Man still to get going.
When they entered the straight, Further and Beyond held the initiative with Billy Whizz fading while Regal and Royal was surprisingly holding his gallop.
In the last furlong and a half, Miniature Man became visible on the outside as Further and Beyond started to idle, as is usually the case when he is in front.
In a captivating final furlong, Miniature Man and Further and Beyond were locked in combat, with both jockeys – Cardenas and Nelson – utilising all their strength, and years of experience in the pigskin gave no quarter.
In the final analysis, neither the human eye nor advanced technology could separate Miniature Man and Further and Beyond. The result – a dead heat.
The winning time was 1:34.1 with splits of 24.1 x 47.3 x 1:12.2
TRAINER'S COMMENTS – ANTHONY NUNES
“What a race! Further and Beyond did what he had to do to win once again. He, as always, was tough and courageous despite allowing weight all around. We will have to deal with his ( Further and Beyond) tendency of idling while in front.
All in all, a really good effort from this determined horse whose 'Never say die' attitude, especially when in a tussle, has served him well. He ( Further and Beyond) is going to fight you to the death and the horse with which he dead-heated carried 53.0 kg, but coming into the Guineas we will all be sitting even on 57.0kg at that time. That will be a different ball game altogether then.
I would like to congratulate trainer Jason DaCosta and his team for a job well done with Miniature Man.
If there is anything for me to be disappointed about in this race is with the performances of my two other horses. Looking at the performances of Calculus, and Curlin's Affair, they ran way below their abilities and expectations.“
TRAINER'S COMMENTS – JASON DACOSTA
Firstly, all my horses did well, and to finish first, fourth, fifth and sixth wasan achievement for me.
We did a lot of work getting Miniature Man to the stage where he is today and his response was very excellent at this stage of the game. When looking at their individual performances, Billy Whizz ran fourth, Johncrowjeff finished fifth and Rusty finished sixth. Billy Whizz might have preferred it on the outside but he was stuck on the inside, and that could have influenced his performance that fell below expectations. The performance of Johncrowjeff was encouraging. Johncrowjeff has a problem of wanting to run down on the rails and, that is why his riders are having a hard time controlling him. If we can succeed in solving that problem, he will definitely be a contender. Johncrowjeff definitely has the ability we just have to try and correct his pparticular problem.
The Kingston was truly a race to remember and I must say thanks to all at the stables for putting out their best in preparing the horses for such an important race. There is still a lot of work to be done and I am sure the team will meet all the necessary challenges. Miniature Man is developing very fast and will get better, especially over the longer distances. I am really proud of him and the rest of the horses I train for giving of their best when called upon.
This dead heat result of the Kingston has opened up the Classic races even further. Among the colts and geldings section, starting with the 2000 Guineas (colts and geldings – one mile), while Further and Beyond remains the favourite the competition is nearby making for true competitiveness.
The connections of Regal and Royal, led by trainer Gary Griffiths, have to be congratulated for a brave effort. Regal and Royal was with the early leaders and did not give up in the stretch, losing by just 2 ¼ lengths. Let's hope that Regal and Royal can maintain this consistency when the Classic races arrive.
Trainer DaCosta must be very pleased with the outcome of the Kingston. He finished first, fourth, fifth and sixth.
A number of horses did not perform as expected in the Kingston. Topping that list was Calculus, the recent winner of the Sir Howard (6 furlongs) and who finished third behind Further and Beyond and Billy Whizz in the Prince Consort (seven furlongs). Calculus finished ninth of the 12 runners in the Kingston.
Regnant, after promising much with two wins from three starts, led for a while but faded badly and ended up 11th of 12.
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