|Race Day Review Day 22 Tuesday 19th June 2012|
Ignition Coil explodes and Galveston makes it four straight
IGNITION COIL turned in one of the best performances of the season when horse racing continued at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, with Tobago Day at the Races. It was the 2012 edition of the day set aside annually for the sister isle and the Tobagonians put on a show like never before. They came across with a wider variety of cuisine than they ever had and gave us a very first taste on the race track of one of their favourite pastimes. The crowd for the Labour Day holiday was one of the biggest of the season to date and many felt that just as many fans or even more came out for the two races for the goats than the nine for the thoroughbreds. But in the end the star of the Tobago House of Assembly-sponsored programme was definitely a four-footed animal as Ignition Coil thrashed the opposition to win the main attraction in one of the fastest times recorded over 1,350 metres in more than 18 years since centralisation. The Pigeon Point Hermitage Park 3 Y.O. Sprint Stakes was billed as a “two-horse” race but apparently the message was not relayed to Ignition Coil, who powered home by a breath-taking ten lengths in a time less than 3/5th of a second outside Film Director’s track record of 1:18 2/5 seconds. The punters did not think it was a “two-horse” race either as the American-bred chestnut was sent off as the overwhelming 1/5 favourite in the Grade II $150,000 contest.
But like Ignition Coil, Gabby’s Gold was also coming in with a career record of three wins from five starts. And he had prevailed easily in their only previous meeting on Boxing Day (December 26). However his opponent was facing the starter for the first time and the only thing which prevented Ignition Coil from being perfect this season was when he finished second to the country’s top-rated horse Bruceontheloose last time out in the Santa Rosa Dash following three impressive victories. Gabby’s Gold has struggled coming out of the gates since he returned from a three-month break at the end of March and needed an alert break to have any chance against a red-hot opponent. It did not happen and after the son of Johannesburg had to expend extra much energy to get close to Ignition Coil at the far turn, he had no response as the horse owned by the sons of late champion owner Naz Ahamad produced arguably the most commanding stretch run in the 22 days of racing this season. Gabby’s Gold even found it difficult to get by Get It All and he only did so in the final 100 metres to secure the runner-up spot. And Nominee, the only maiden in the field of seven American-bred horses, ended up fourth in the penultimate event. The demise of Gabby’s Gold prevented Maharaj from sweeping the two stakes races on the card.
The champion owner’s Galveston had also broken sluggishly – in the S.F.A. (Stud Farm Association) & Main Ridge “Rain Forest” National Stakes. But he did not have an opponent of Ignition Coil’s calibre to deal with and the son of A Great Team cruised home by 3 ¾ lengths after collaring B’s Passion in mid-stretch. Seven locally-bred three-year-old and over horses faced the starter over 1,800 metres in the $100,000 contest but the other five were woefully out of class. Still, Mambo Cat finished well in the homestretch and was only 3 ½ lengths adrift of B’s Passion at the end, and eight lengths ahead of the fourth-placed Chief’s Nephew in the day’s third race. The consistent B’s Passion, a six-time winner, was occupying the runner-up spot for the seventh time and sailed past $850,000 in earnings from her 17-race career. Galveston started the day needing less than $20,000 to go past the $600,000 mark and his winners’ cheque was worth $60,000. It was the fourth consecutive victory and sixth in the last seven starts for the Derick Mosca-trained chestnut. Galveston has prevailed seven times from his last ten outings and finished second on the other three occasions, including in last year’s Midsummer Classic and Trinidad Derby – the final two legs of the triple crown.
The last time he finished outside the top two was over a year ago when he was disqualified and placed last after crossing the finish line sixth on Easter Monday last year in the Easter Guineas – opening leg of the triple crown. Right after Galveston scored his eighth career victory from his 16th start, owner Maharaj was in the winners’ enclosure again when Frankenstein, running in his colours for the first time, defeated a bunch of 70-50 horses over 1,750 metres in the Blue Food Stakes. Maharaj was the only owner to be triumphant more than once for the day and the two-time defending champion joined owner/trainer Harold Chadee in the lead for the season with 19 wins. Defending champs John O’Brien and Brian Boodramsingh stretched their leads in the training and riding departments. Multiple champion O’Brien saddled Ignition Coil and Precise Rule, the Diane Scott-owned chestnut who won the Hermitage Stakes for West Indian-bred three-year-old maidens over 1,100 metres on the turf.
And his stable rider Boodramsingh, who was crowned champion jockey for the first time last year, was astride both of them as well as Prados Wells, a winner over the same course and distance in the opener – Little Tobago Stakes for West Indian-bred four-year-old and over maidens.
Racing continues at Santa Rosa Park with the 23rd round of the Arima Race Club’s 2012 Season next week Saturday.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 29 June 2012 18:35 )|