Trainer Fitzgerald Richards celebrated his birthday on Saturday, but his gift wasn't wrapped with a bow at the top.
Instead, it had a jockey on it.
The fleet-footed Patriarch ensured the conditioner had a ball and also gave jockey Dane Dawkins something to celebrate when he captured The St Catherine Cup in fighting style at Caymanas Park.
Patriarch's victory in the three-year-old and upwards Open Allowance contest over six furlongs (1,200 metres) completed a dazzling four-timer on the day for Dawkins — a first in his riding career — while stablemate God of Love sweetened the deal for Richards by completing a one-two finish for the connections in a driving finish.
Though getting on in age, the seven-year-old Patriarch ( Casual Trick-Electrifying), who was a winner in the class below on the final race day of 2021, was always going to prove competitive even with the distance being somewhat out of his comfort zone.
However, with Dawkins high on confidence — having already won three races on the 10-race card — he broke Patriarch well from the number three draw and quickly overtook God of Love (Robert Halledeen) on the lead to set the early fractions, as expected.
As Patriarch left the five to navigate the half-mile turn, Jason DaCosta's Eagle One (Phillip Parchment) moved down into second and took aim at the leader, before a relaxed-looking Halledeen and God of Love pulled on his outside to initiate Richards' tag team tactic with his two runners.
Even with both rivals breathing down his neck, Dawkins maintained a strong hold on Patriarch, bringing the Vincent Maine-owned charge into the stretch run on a canter to ensure he had enough in the tank for the duel that ensued between himself and God of Love leaving the furlong pole.
There, urged by Dawkins, Patriarch found extra to repel God of Love's challenge to finish tops by three-quarter lengths and snare the lion's share of the $1.15-million purse for Richards.
Eagle One was a further two-and-a-quarter lengths behind in third, with Anthony Nunes' Nuclear Noon recovering from an horrible start to complete the firm.
Patriarch covered the distance in a flat 1:13.0 minutes with splits of 23.0 and 46.4 seconds.
Dawkins earlier won the third event aboard Atomica for trainer Gary Subratie, the sixth event aboard Everald Francis's Mister A, and the seventh event aboard the Ian Parsard-conditioned Jordan Reign's.
Halledeen won the first two events aboard Pip for Nunes and Silent Cat for Dennis Thwaites.
Meanwhile, Tevin Foster also had a double aboard Basilicus and chance ride Carol's Strike for trainers Gregory Forsythe and Lincoln Lungs in the fourth and eighth events, respectively.
Racing continues Sunday with another 10 races on offer.
— Sherdon Cowan