TRAINER Richard Azan believes a more patient ride from jockey Oshane Nugent made all the difference in Eroy's tidy victory in Open Allowance Company at Caymanas Park on Saturday, November 27, 2021.
The American-bred colt came from off the pace to score a one-and-a-quarter-length win over recent conqueror Further and Beyond (Linton Steadman) in the Pick 3 'Five Play Everyday' Trophy event over seven and a half furlongs (1,500m).
Prior to Saturday's win Eroy, a four-year-old bay colt ( Khozan — Golden Bucket), fought gallantly before being overhauled by the better stayers in a Graded Stakes event over nine and a half furlongs (1900 metres) on November 13.
Anthony Nunes' Further and Beyond won that event, dubbed the Jamaica Cup, ahead of Jason DaCosta's Billy Whizz and the Gary Subratie-conditioned Calculus. Eroy weakened into fourth position.
Though admitting that Eroy is not much of a two-turn runner, Azan said that fourth-place performance was a result of impatience on the part of the jockey.
However, in the same breath, he praised Nugent for a more positive display on this occasion, which could be considered a redemption of sorts.
“Ideally, Eroy runs a better seven-and-a-half-furlong race than a two-turn race, and the jockey rode him really perfectly today [Saturday],” Azan told this publication.
“As you saw, he did not try to go with the leaders ( like he did the last time) and we now see the result — he came back victorious. So again, I think that was testament to the perfect ride,” the hall of fame conditioner added.
Unlike the November 13 clash when he had Eroy up with the pace for most of the way and lacked the kick of Further and Beyond and others in the stretch run, Nugent was more wary of the competition on Saturday.
The Gregory Park-based jockey got Eroy out of the gates well from post position nine and quickly dropped his hands, allowing the fleet-footed Roy Rogers (Nicholas Hibbert) and Eagle One (Dick Cardenas) to dictate the early fractions.
Nuclear Noon (Robert Halledeen), Lure of Lucy (Anthony Thomas) and Double Crown (Omar Walker) stalked the leaders, with Further and Beyond and Eroy tucked in at sixth and seventh positions, respectively.
As the leaders flashed past the five-furlong mark, Nugent gradually released his restraint on Eroy and the bay colt quickened along the inside rails. He easily swept by Further and Beyond and Double Crown before taking aim at the others leaving the half-mile point.
By the time the leaders turned for home Eroy, well-positioned along the inside rails, straightened up nicely to briskly assume the lead and from there, responded to Nugent's urging to skip away from the field at the furlong pole.
Further and Beyond's late burst was in vain as he finished in second position, with Roy Rogers and Lure of Lucy completing the frame.
Eroy covered the journey in a time of 1:31.3, behind splits of 23.4, 46.4 and 1:11.4.
“To be honest, we didn't do anything differently since the last run; we continued to take our time with him and we didn't change anything. So, like I said earlier, I think it's the riding style that made the difference,” Azan reiterated.
And as it relates to Eroy's next assignment, the veteran conditioner, who is part-owner of the colt, pointed out that it's a wait and see game as the 2021 racing calendar approaches its climax.
Eroy's win was his fourth in 11 starts this year, earning just over $3.1 million in the process.