|Race Day Review Day 21 Saturday 9th June 2012|
ARIMA RACE CLUB
RACE DAY REVIEW
DAY 21 Saturday 9th
'Roger' makes no mistakes this time
AFTER suffering a heart-breaking defeat in last year’s edition of the Eric “Colt” Durant Memorial, Just Call Me Roger made no mistake this time when horse racing continued at Santa Rosa Park, Arima. The American-bred five-year-old galloped to a 2 ¾-length victory in the $150,000 event, penultimate and feature attraction of a nine-race card during the 21st round of the Arima Race Club’s (ARC) 2012 Season. It was the very first triumph on the turf in Trinidad for Just Call Me Roger, who was denied by just a neck by Treasure Each Day in last year’s running of the 1,700-metre contest. The Glenn Mendez-trained gelding had also suffered a devastating defeat on the surface in March when he was just caught before the finish line of a 1,600-metre contest for 90 & over rated horses by 2010 Gold Cup winner Cactus Amour. But there was no catching Just Call Me Roger this time and he was still very strong at the end after making most of the running in the “Durant Memorial.’ The generously-priced 6/1 shot was followed home by raging ravourite Raging Halo, the most consistent of the top class horses on the turf for the last few years who had finished a short-head behind Just Call Me Roger last year. Sacred Trust, who had dead-heated for third in her only other turf outing – in the Grade I Champagne Stakes on Easter Monday (April 9 – ended up just a neck adrift in fourth. And last year’s Stewards Cup fourth was followed 2 ¼ lengths back by Mobthewarrior.
Both of them had only competed ten days earlier on the dirt when Sacred Trust had placed third in the Grade II Santa Rosa Dash over 1,200 metres and the Canadian-bred Mobthewarrior had finally gotten off the mark in Trinidad in a 1,750-metre affair for 100-80 rated horses.
After his shock victory in the ‘Champagne’ at odds of almost 20/1 in only his second outing on the grass, Rock Movistar did not seem to enjoy the soft track and the second favourite trailed the field so badly that he finished 20 lengths behind rank outsider Caro’s Legacy. And on a very sad note, First To Fly, winner of the country’s richest and most prestigious turf race (Independence Cup) at odds of over 20/1 at the end of August last year, broke down and did not cross the finish line. The Maniram Maharaj-owned and trained American-bred four-year-old has three wins and two runner-up finishes from ten starts on the lawn and fans will surely be keeping their fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. The ‘Durant Memorial’ is named in honour of late Eric Durant, arguably the greatest trainer in the history of local racing. Naz Ahamad, Durant’s most powerful owner, also passed away during the last decade, but his sons have been flying his colours under the banner of the S.I.R. Stables. And fittingly, their Raging Halo won the ’09 edition of this race and has finished in the top three in the last two runnings. His second place effort this time was worth $30,000, pushing the John O’Brien-trained six-year-old pass $500,000 in earnings on the grass. Raging Halo has almost reached $250,000 on the main course and he is close to $775,000 in career earnings. After finishing fourth on his Santa Rosa debut in the ’10 Champagne, Just Call Me Roger then scored by over ten lengths on the dirt the month after, giving the indication that the floodgates were about to open. But it did not happen and it has taken almost two years and ten starts for him to return to the winners’ circle. Trainer Mendez was saddling the “Durant Memorial’ winner for the very first time, but it was not so for Ricky Jadoo, who actually became the most successful rider in the 11-year history of the race. The multiple champion jockey had prevailed with Cash Wager in the inaugural edition in ’02 and was celebrating for the second year in succession after booting home Treasure Each Day last year.
Owner Paul Mouttet, is set to pick up a $90,000 cheque for Just Call Me Roger’s victory, but he was probably not expecting things to turn out so great for him after the opening event. His American-bred three-year-old Big Boy Jordan went down by the shortest of heads to Lang Amour, Cactus Amour's half-brother, in the 1,750-metre contest for 85-65 rated horses. Free Passage returned from an absence of over five months with a bang in the third. The Juan Navarro-owned Jamaican-bred beat a respected bunch of West Indian-bred three-year-old non-winner of two races by two lengths over a distance of 1,200 metres. This gelding has now won twice and finished second in the First Classic in his other start and is definitely one to keep an eye on in the future. O’Brien-trained runners Lady Angelica and Charming Lass, who beat our Free Passage in the battle for favouritism after scoring in her only other start, finished second and third, respectively. Free Passage was ridden by Richard Perez and the Venezuelan retuned in the sixth to score again and share riding honours with Nigel Flavenney. Perez pushed out the O’Brien-bred Chief’s Nephew to trounce the $20,000-$15,000 Claimers by 3 ½ lengths over the same distance. It was the third victory in the last four starts for the horse owned by champion owner Shivam Maharaj. Believe It Or Not also made it two wins from his last three starts when the Maharaj-owned and trained gelding defeated a bunch of 70-50 rated horses over 1,300 metres in the curtain event. Flavenny was aboard, two races after the three-kilo claimer had scored a significant victory in the 1,100-metre contest for horses rated 30 & lower. Sweet Parang Music won this event at odds of 15/1 to turn her maiden’s certificate on the 66th attempt. Derick Mosca saddled Free Passage and Chief’s Nephew to be the leading trainer of the day.
Racing contines next week Tuesday when the Tobago House of Assembly will combine with the ARC to stage the Labour Day holiday card. The feature events will be the National Stakes for locally-bred horses over 1,800 metres and the Grade II 3 Y.O. Sprint Stakes over 1,350 metres.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 June 2012 18:57 )|