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Indian Officer one to watch

nationnews.com | By Lindon Yarde | Fri, February 10, 2012

The main attraction on an enterprising eight-race card on the fourth day of the Barbados Turf Club’s first racing season will be the Rotherley Construction Inc. Stakes And Trophy Condition race for three-year-olds over 1 570 metres at the Garrison Savannah tomorrow.

On paper, the form suggests it should be a two-horse affair between the Joanne Parravicino and Shaun Meil-owned Indian Officer and the H&M-owned Shared Adventure.

Indian Officer has displayed fantastic form, romping to three victories from his six starts.

Those victories came in the Divine Messenger Allotted Weights over 1 100 metres followed by the Diamonds International Crown Of Light and the Boxing Day International Trophy, both condition races over 1 570 metres.

His main opposition should come from Shared Adventure, whose two victories came in the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Open Two-year-old Trophy and the Jim Davis, both condition races over 1 100 metres.

Both are now handicapped at 126 pounds by virtue of their two wins at tomorrow’s trip but Indian Officer has the slight advantage.

The Rotherley Construction Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Sale Graduates Three-year-old Stakes And Trophy is also guaranteed to whet one’s appetite.

The Lord Michael Taylor-owned Verkauf headlines the field of 11 to contest this 1 100-metres event.

She has the impressive record of three wins from five starts in her brief career. While this Anderson Ward-trained filly got the job done, she has not been totally convincing when getting the score.

Stablemate Run For Your Money was a very impressive winner when taking care of the West Indian-bred unplaced horses in the Loan Ranger Condition Race Division-B over 1 000 metres. Now being asked to shoulder weight all around, he will be severely tested.

Vapour Trail comfortably took Division-A of that race and, with the increase in class and weight, she will have to find more if she’s to repeat that success.

Something Happening was a long-shot winner first time out in the Oba Dove Condition Race over 1 100 metres. The daughter of Atul out of Lively Look did not fire in her next start and will be seeking to make amends.

Capere has now gone six races since her only score. This Victor Cheeseman-trained filly has been consistent in her more recent starts as she now seems to be settling into this racing regime; further improvement is expected.

Gorgeous has been fairly consistent in all her efforts and another gallant effort can be expected.

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Trotman’s jockey of the year

Anderson Trotman pushing Lady Quill to one of her victories last year. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

By Lindon Yarde | Wed, January 04, 2012 | nationnews.com

The 2011 Jockeys’ Championship appeared poised for a great finish going into the final day, with runaway leaders Jalon Samuel and Anderson Trotman locked on 31 wins each.

The equation heavily favoured the challenger Trotman, who had more second-place finishes.

At the conclusion of Race 10, both riders were winless on the card which meant that Trotman had secured another riding title.

Their performance on the day epitomized the sub-standard third season they had as they mustered in three victories from 53 rides between them.

This title gave Trotman an unprecedented sixth riding title in Barbados. He had won titles back in 1995, 1996, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

His partnership with owner Sir Charles Williams and trainer Andrew Nunes has once more proven very profitable.

The hard graft he put in rewarded him with yearly figures of 31-25-21-14 from 146 rides and earnings of $556 392 and a win percentage of 21.

Trotman found the going rough in the third season when the trainers had plenty options.

He was at his best during the first two seasons and that was enough to seal the deal for him.

His main players were the three-year-old filly Kendal Moon who landed the Midsummer Creole Classic over 1 800 metres, the United Insurance Barbados Derby over 2 000 metres and Apostle, which won the Val Gale Cup for the top-rated horses (118-140) over 1 800 metres.

He also won four races on the imported three-year-old Nomoreginrog.

Third season returns: Position: Unplaced with 1-8-6-2 from 29 rides all earning $97 195.

Last year’s champion Samuel was denied a repeat success as he failed to break the deadlock with Trotman.

The 22 percentage winning rider had yearly statistics of 31-18-18-24 from 142 mounts and earnings of $509 786.

Samuel’s major success was winning the Cool More Home Of Champions Stakes & Trophy and the Tanglewood Stakes & Trophy over 1 800 and 2 000 metres respectively with Bouncebak.

He endured his worst season ever during the just concluded third season.

Third season returns: Position: Unplaced with 2-3-2-6 from 24 mounts all earning $39 150.

Antonio Bishop rocketed himself into the third position in the overall standings. His winning percentage of 16 coupled with consistent performances ensured he would lose his apprenticeship on the last day of the third season.

From 107 mounts, his statistics were 17-15-12-14 with earnings of $397 803.

Apart from gleefully accepting the Sandy Lane Gold Cup victory his main accomplishment would have been him be crowned champion apprentice for 2011.

His victory aboard Zoom in the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Breeders’ Classic over 1 800 metres would also be a standout.

Third season returns: Position: Third with 5-2-3-4 from 22 mounts earnings of $89 387.

Reshaun Latchman, after a late start to the year, displayed much improved skills and was richly rewarded with fourth place finish in the overall championship.

He was one of two riders to distinguish themselves in the third season, the other being Paul Eddery.

The 18 percentage winning rider accumulated year figures of 13-11-13-4 from 72 mounts which earned $221 594.

Latchman landed two triple victories during the third season. On Day 3, he scored with Indian Officer, Jusanotheropinion and Desert Orchid and wrapped up the year with his second treble aboard Indian Officer, Aston Martin and Giovedi.

Third season returns: Position: Second with 6-6-4-5 from 30 mounts and earnings of $128 058.

Surprise! surprise! The third racing season crowned a new and different season champion in Irish-born Paul Eddery, who won his first season title in Barbados.

Riding predominantly for Blue Diamond Stable, the veteran took the third season honours with seven wins, three seconds, one third and three fourth-place finishes from 33 mounts which have all combined to earn $88 075.

Eddery started the year in late April but despite the incredible season he failed to break into the top four of the year.

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Blast from past | The Nation

Blast from past | The Nation

Trinidadian Emile Ramsammy makes a return to the Garrison Savannah today. (FP)

By Lindon Yarde | Sat, December 10, 2011

Racing nostalgia returns to the historic Garrison Savannah today when Trinidadian-born, Canadian-based two-time Sovereign Award-winning jockey Emile Ramsammy takes to the saddle.

Ramsammy, who is no stranger to the Garrison, has piloted Frisky Wharf (1985), Stangrave Park (1987) and Call To Account (1988) to victory in what was then the Cockspur Gold Cup.

Ramsammy, who was recently honoured in Trinidad and Tobago, comes here in riveting form, having scored three victories last Saturday at Santa Rosa Park in the US$650 000 Caribbean Nations Racing Challenge.

He will partner Atomic Bomb, Finbar, and speedy Must Be The Money in Races 2, 7 and 8.

The afternoon highlight will see the juveniles in action when colts and geldings will compete in Race 5: the Diamonds International/Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Stakes & Trophy for West Indian-bred two-year-olds over 1 000 metres.

The second half of the feature – the Diamonds International/Mont Blanc Nightflight Stakes & Trophy for West Indian bred two-year-old fillies – will see three former winners fighting it out.

The order in which they won is Capere, Verkauf and Secret Of Success, and the winner is likely to come from among them in a race which is likely to go right down to the wire.

Blue Diamond Stable-owned Verkauf trotted home in the R.L. Seale & Company Limited Trophy Allotted Weights for two-year-old maidens over 1 100 metres. In that race she left Secret Of Success in her wake.

Verkauf was then fourth in the Kathleen Taylor Memorial Condition race over 1 100 metres. She is the one they will all have to beat.

Diana Jones-owned Secret Of Success, when scoring in the Kingdora Condition race for two-year-olds over 1 100 metres, simply ran past the field that included Release Me and Southern Lights.

While they didn’t offer much competition, it was one of the most impressive two-year-old victories. She stands another excellent chance for repeat success.

Raphael Greene-owned Capere won the Kabul Allotted Weights race over 1 100 metres. On that occasion one of her victims was Secret Of Success.

While Capere has not revisited the winner’s enclosure, she has been consistent and will want to prove she is amongst the best fillies. However, the outside draw does not help.

Trainer Andrew Nunes will send out Southern Lights who has three starts against her name.

After placing third in her first outing, Southern Lights made a feeble attempt at running her opposition into the ground. Her connections will be looking for a much improved performance despite the outside berth.

Release Me, Leave A Message, Rahy Promise and Mudlark will all look to improve on their dismal showing to date, while first-time starters Finbar, Lyrical Fox and Right Move will all seek to create a favourable impression.


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Super run


nationnews.com | Sun, August 21, 2011

It took a superstar to brighten up things at the Garrison Savannah yesterday.

With the inclement weather adversely affecting virtually every sport across Barbados, it was the Sport of Kings that held centre stage at the eighth day of the Barbados Turf Club’s second racing season.

Superstar, beautifully ridden by Antonio Bishop, won the feature BTBA Sprint Stakes and Trophy ahead of Vitality, with Antonio Whitehall aboard, in front of an appreciative crowd that had the last laugh on a grey, rainy day due to the effects of a tropical wave affecting the island.

The well grassed turf at the Savannah was a beauty to behold, and with cricketers sitting around in pavilions as their matches were rained out or severely delayed, the stewards at the Garrison never even had to make a cautionary inspection.

In this Kenmore Bynoe photo, Superstar is powering to victory ahead of Vitality yesterday.

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It’s on! It’s on! You wouldn’t want to miss the long and eagerly anticipated return clash between Show Me The Money, Apostle and Zoom

Show Me The Money has not raced since the 2011 Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup and will be up against Apostle and Zoom today. (FP)

By Lindon Yarde | www.nationnews.com | Sat, June 25, 2011

It’s on! It’s on! You wouldn’t want to miss the long and eagerly anticipated return clash between Show Me The Money, Apostle and Zoom.

They last met in this year’s Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup where Show Me The Money and Apostle went head to head. The race, however, ended in controversy with Show Me The Money being disqualified and the win being awarded to Zoom.

They will seek to settle these outstanding matters when they square off today at the Garrison Savannah for the feature race – the Val Gale Cup.

This weight-for-age event for three-year-old and older horses rated 118-140 and also open to horses rated 117 and below over 1 800 metres has attracted three other competitors and looks to be a thriller.

Regardless of the outcome, one surety is that more excitement will be created in the horse racing industry which is basically lacking equine stars.

Lord Michael Taylor-owned Show Me The Money has not raced since the Gold Cup. The Anderson Ward-trained horse, which finished second in last year’s edition of this race, is expected to be sound and can put his immense ability beyond doubt with a powerful performance, thus proving his Gold Cup form not to be a fluke.

Apostle has not appeared since his participation in the Gold Cup this year; additionally he has only one victory in the last year-and-a-half, but remains the highest rated animal in the race.

With compelling credentials and nothing to prove, local favourite Apostle is expected to attempt to run this field into the ground. Having served this country well against the highest calibre of opposition he will need another career best if he is to resume his winning ways. 

As he gracefully ages, this racing game has obviously gotten harder on this seven-year-old gelding. It is left to be seen if he still has it in him.

Zoom, winner of this year’s Gold Cup, extended his winning ways with a 1¾ length victory in the Lost In The Fog Trophy Handicap for the top rated horses 115-140 over 1 100 metres. Definitely past his best where sprinting is concerned, he will relish a return to the 1 800 metres trip and seek win No. 4 on the trot.

Zoom will want to ensure his stable’s shocking pink silk passes the line first and further strengthen the debate as to who’s the best horse in training at present and that he was in every way a deserving winner of the Caribbean’s premiere horse racing event.

This being a weight-for-age race really seems to put the others at a very serious disadvantage. Bipin on previous attempts at the trip has been found wanting on each occasion. Ring Time and Kingdora have both tried this company before at the shorter trip of 1 570 metres, both handicapped with the penny stamp of 108 pounds, and with their best efforts failed to get the job done.

In horse racing nothing is guaranteed but rest assured Ring Time and Kingdora are up against rivals at the peak of their powers and are expected to come up way short.

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Istanbul the favourite horse

nationnew.com | By Lindon Yarde | Sat, April 16, 2011 – 12:01 AM


These horses pound the sand track during exercise at the Garrison Savannah. (FP)


All systems are set.The horses are fighting fit and in fantastic form; all looking to capture the 61st Barbados Guineas. 

The first jewel the Barbados Triple Crown, an event for West Indian-bred three-year-olds over 1 570 metres at allotted weights, is the premier race today at the Garrison Savannah. 

Twelve of the finest three-year-olds in training will vie for honours in Race 7 on this eight-race card. 

Despite the encouraging and sublime form of all entered it certainly has the makings of atwo-horse affair, at least on paper. 

The incredible colt owned by Lord Michael Taylor – Istanbul – looks set to eyeball Sir Charles Williams’ feisty filly Kendal Moon for the top prize. 

Istanbul, with the most decorative resume of six wins from ten starts, has defeated the leading contenders here and once again looks invincible. 

Noticeably he touched off Kendal Moon by a neck when they met in the Guardian General Insurance Breeders’ Stakes and Trophy over today’s trip. Another win here will confirm it was no fluke.

Kendal Moon tasted defeat at the hands of Istanbul but it was an extremely gallant effort that could have gone either way with a little more luck. 

Going here she is lightly raced and has fresh legs. Additionally, Kendal Moon’s first-call rider Trotman has elected to stay with her. 

Lord Michael Taylor and trainer Anderson Ward have four other entrants, to complete a record five-pronged attack in this classic. 

Reprise will lead the back-up contingent after her maiden victory in the Diamond International Mont Blanc Doue condition race over 1 570. She was then beaten into third place behind   Istanbul and Kendal Moon. It will take something very special for her to reverse positions.

On form, Vitality and stablemate Island Memories look evenly matched especially since Vitality turned the tables on Island Memories when they last met in the Michael Parravicino Memorial Hopeful Breeders’ Stakes and Trophy, also at today’s trip.

These two could battle once again for the minor positions. The final entrant for Blue Diamonds Stables – Must Be The Money – could find himself out front doing rabbit work as his form is the least enticing.

Sir Charles’ second runner, the fleet-footed Slip Stream, is expected to make it hot up front. A repeat of her last race day performance will not come as a surprise all things being equal.

In that race the Realtors Limited Trophy condition race over 1 100 metres, she sped from the gates but ran out of steam in the homestretch. Slip Stream, very much like Must Be The Money, could wind up doing job work. 

The field is complemented by Jack Is Back, Verizon, Wingman, Ocean Pride and Sweet Bottom Suzy – all worthy opponents despite venturing into the lion’s den. 

My Picks:
Race 1: Atomic Bomb; Race 2: Uncle Jerry; Race 3: Byhookorbycreek; Race 4: Whatadeal; Race 5: Charge It; Race 6: Unreal; Race 7: Kendal Moon; Race 8: Slammin N Jammin.

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3-year-olds take Garrison spotlight

By Lindon Yarde | Sat, April 02, 2011 | www.nationnews.com

Barbadian-bred three-year-olds take centre stage at the Garrison Savannah today when they clash in the feature – the Michael Parravicino Memorial Hopeful Breeders’ Stakes and Trophy over 1 570 metres.

The Realtors Limited-sponsored race day will see the colts and geldings carrying 126 pounds, while the fillies take 121 pounds.

Race seven on the card promises to be action-packed and should be a nail-biter.

The Lord Michael Taylor-owned and Anderson Ward trained trio of Island Memories, Vitality and Istanbul will be seeking the top three positions for the barn. This trio have already proven themselves at this distance.

Partnered by budding apprentice Kyle Carter, Istanbul, with a never-say-die attitude, seeks to make it four wins on the trot.

His peers suffered at the tape in the Diamonds International MontBlanc Bonus Challenge Stakes and Trophy and the Guardian General Insurance Breeders’ Stakes and Trophy, both races over 1 570 metres.

With career statistics of five wins from nine starts, he will prove a tough nut to crack.

Stablemate  Vitality  is also after a four timer. his main accomplishment to date is his maiden victory in the III Diamonds International Mont Blanc Doue Condition Race Division A over 1 570 metres. Blue Diamonds Stables go to rider Jalon Samuel on the impressive colt, which will make this race even more interesting.

Jason Leacock jumps aboard Island Memories, winner of William Bill Marshall Memorial two-year-old Creole Classic Stakes and Trophy  over 1 570 metres last time out. Island Memories has gotten the better of the exchanges with Vitality but has been on the receiving end from Istanbul.

He will have to improve to get the victory.  The eventual winner from these three could come down to who gets the better ride.

Jane Girls-owned Cinnamon Jane recorded an impressive victory in the Treehouse Club Trophy handicap division B over 1 100 metres. The daughter of Gold Cup winner Thady Quill is bred to go the distance and should not be left out.

Joycies Boys-owned filly Nile Queen made light work of her opponents in the Eustace “Tinnings” Jordan Memorial condition race over 1 100 metres. She will however be required to find more if she’s to get the victory for the Kendal stables.

Danehill Racing-owned Lune De Barachois is also a worthy contender for this race. Her best performance at this trip to date was a third place finish behind Island Memories and Vitality in the William “Bill” Marshall Memorial two-year-old Creole Classic Stakes and Trophy.

After several tries, Francis Cozier-owned Victoria Belle is still a maiden. This company may prove to be a bit challenging for her. Gay Smith-owned Angelic Peace is still learning the game and looks in deep water here.

Little is known of the Aysha Syndicate’s Captain Apache.

This bay colt by Captain Charlie failed to impress in his only outing on Boxing Day. Therefore it will take divine intervention as he tries to go from cottage to castle against this well tuned company.

My Picks:

1: Boo

2: Bond Street

3: Lady Patrick

4: Double Dagger

5: Slip Stream

6: Janaki

7: Vitality

8: Zegar

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Smiths in the money

nationnews.com BY JUSTIN MARVILLE | SUN, MARCH 06, 2011 – 12:00 AM

Winning Gold Cup owners Derek and Gay Smith (right) receiving the Cup from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Robert Logan. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

IT’S NOT OVER until someone shows you the money. The Smith camp will do well to remember that. It wasn’t the ideal way to win the Caribbean’s most prestigious race but champion owner Gay Smith will take it anyhow, after Zoom was eventually awarded yesterday’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup in controversial fashion at the Garrison Savannah.
Initially happy to settle for second, Smith was even more elated to find out her horse was bumped up one spot following an objection that eventually disqualified Show Me The Money.

“It’s absolutely terrible to win in the way we did,” said Smith of Show Me The Money’s disqualification. “But the horse [Zoom] was spectacular and I just have to say thank you to my trainer and my perfect jockey. We’ve won with a home-bred – born and bred in Barbados – which is perfect.”

A long shot to win at 12-1 odds, Zoom seemingly did well to come second best as Show Me The Money, ridden by Jalon Samuel, crossed the finish line a good four-and-a-half lengths ahead. However, that decision was rescinded following a lengthy process, after Apostle’s connections lodged a protest claiming that Samuel impeded the horse in the home stretch.

So it was Zoom who eventually showed everyone the victory.
“We can’t do anything about that,” said victorious trainer Edward Walcott Jr with a sympathetic voice. “As a trainer it could have happened to me in the race but the stewards have to make their decisions and that’s what they decided.”

In spite of the controversy and Zoom’s high odds, Walcott believed his camp had the horse to give Barbados a locally bred champ for the first time since Federico won 13 years ago.

This after imported horses Bad Action and Safety Zone generated all the buzz heading into the race’s 30th edition. And if any attention surrounded a local contender, Apostle was the one getting it.

In the end, all were left behind. Not to Walcott’s surprise, though.
“It didn’t bother me what they said [because] we knew what we had,” Walcott said of Zoom’s overlooked status.

“He’s been on top of his game for the last three months [so] we’ve been really happy with him. He’s just won his last race before this and he’s had two seconds before, that so I was really happy with him coming here.

“It’s everybody [though], it’s a team effort and truthfully speaking, without Mr and Mrs Smith, I don’t know how we would do it, but we managed to do something we’ve been trying to do for a few years now – bring the local horses to the front.”

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Jockeys riding hard

Jockeys riding hard

Nationnews by Lyndon Yarde | Sun, December 12, 2010

Owner Lord Michael Taylor (right) leading back in winner Istanbul with jockey Jalon Samuel who eged out Island Memories (left).

The highly intense and intriguing battle for the jockeys’ championship continued to capture the attention of all racing enthusiasts, in what has turned out to be quite a spectacle on the penultimate day of the Barbados Turf Club’s third racing season at the Garrison Savannah yesterday.

Leading riders Anderson Trotman and Jalon Samuel positioned themselves for a grand finale on Boxing Day.

Trotman rode three winners on the card, to move one win clear at the top of the table on Diamonds International Montblanc race day.

Istanbul, owned by Lord Michael Taylor, with Samuel aboard, proved his class by winning the Diamonds International Montblanc Star Walker Gents Stakes and Trophy conditions race over 1 100 metres for West Indian bred two-year-old colts and geldings.

Jack Is Back went to the lead with Istanbul, followed by Island Memories, who was settled just off the pace in third, with Verizon, Gunsmoke, Sir Harold and Physical bringing up the latter places.

As the field rounded into the home turn, Jack Is Back, ridden by Affrie Ward, tried his effort best to hold off the chasers, but succumbed to the pressure half way up the stretch and eventually finished third.

Island Memories, with Renaldo Cumberbatch in the irons, had every opportunity to snatch this one from the eventual winner Istanbul, but could not close fast enough and had to settle for second.

The Sir Charles Williams and Lady Williams-owned Slip Stream put in another classy performance to register a three-quarter length victory in the Diamonds International Montblanc La Boheme Ladies Stakes and Trophy conditions race over 1 100 metres for West Indian-bred two-year-old fillies.

The Andrew Nunes-trained Slip Stream, ridden by Anderson Trotman, lived up to her top rating, as she made light work of her competition.

She broke perfectly, and opened a comfortable seven lengths lead by the three furlong marker, which had the rest of the field struggling.

Lune De Barachois, ridden by Antonio Bishop, put in a fine display and was eventually second, while Sweet Bottom Suzy with Dario Dalrymple up, came from a long way back to snatch third, with Indian Soul ridden by Affie Ward fourth.

The others in the field never offered any challenge and were some distance off.

The latter part of Diamonds International Montblanc race day was dominated by Kendal Racing as the combination of owner Sir  Charles Williams, trainer Andrew Nunes and rider Anderson Trotman showed the progress of the stable by winning three of the last four races.

Bond Street was first to winners’ enclosure by taking the the second Diamonds International Crown Of Light Diamonds handicap for three-year-olds and older horses rated 0-65 over 1 100 metres.

Slip Stream then justified favourite tag in the fillies’ feature edition, while Jamaica Moon closed off the proceedings by winning the night cap, sweeping by her opponents in the second Diamonds International Gift Diamonds handicap for three-year-old and older horses rated 0-45 over 1 570 metres.

The next race day will see the culmination of the battle between the top trainers Nunes and Ward, and the top jockeys, Trotman and Samuel.

In what promises to be an exciting entertaining and invigorating day of action, few will want to miss the feast being served up on Monday 27th December, 2010.


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Payday for Money

nationnews.com By Lindon Yarde | Sun, December 05, 2010 – 12:03 AM

Diamonds International / Montblanc raceday provided race lovers with an exciting day at the Garrison Savannah yesterday.

Perfect racing conditions and ideal weather provided the perfect stage for the juveniles to showcase their abilities.

The first feature race was the Diamonds International Mont Blanc Star Walker Gents Stakes and Trophy Condition race over 1 000 metres for West Indian-bred two-year-old colts and geldings.

The Lord Michael Taylor-owned Must Be The Money scored a comfortable victory in this race. The handsome colt broke on top, but quickly settled into second behind stablemate Vitality for the next 600 metres.

Jockey Jalon Samuel then brought the Anderson Ward-trained colt alongside Vitality, and these two would slug it out to the finish with Must Be The Money getting the edge.

For his efforts, Vitality, with Kyle Carter aboard, was second, giving the Blue Diamonds stable a very pleasing one-two finish.

Sail On, with Keveh Nicholls astride, travelled well the entire trip and got third, while first-timer Verizon, ridden by Jason Leacock, was a commendable fourth.

The Diamonds International Mont Blanc La Boheme Ladies Stakes and Trophy Condition race over 1 000 metres for West Indian-bred two-year-old fillies was equally exciting.

Sir Charles Williams-owned Kendal Moon, with Anderson Trotman up, had a hard-fought victory over Fernandina, ridden by Kyle Carter.

Kendal Moon recovered from a slow start to gain an early lead, and never lost the lead. Her record now stands at two wins from two starts.

Ian Corbin-owned first-timer Foxy Baba, with Renaldo Cumberbatch in the irons, was third behind Fernandina, while The Milk Maid – with Jonathon Grant – was fourth.

The Diamonds International Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Handicap for three-year-old and older horses rated 0 to 140 over 1 800 metres was another thriller.

Some fans got an early Christmas gift, and no, there was no appearance from Santa Claus – just a victory for their favourite racehorse Apostle, who sounded a serious warning to all those wanting to be champion horse.

The Andrew Nunes-trained colt left the gate like the Concorde and never looked back, eventually stopping the clock in one minute, 54.4/5 seconds.

The futile chasers led by Show Me The Money included Zoom, Duck The Fur, Spicey Tiger, Mingun Temple, Bipin, Proud Bajan, Walk On By, Bram Stoker and John Brian. None of them offered a challenge as Apostle galloped home with jockey Chris Husbands as a mere passenger along for the victory.

Stable jockey Jalon Samuel, in his quest for the jockeys’ championship, took over the lead from Anderson Trotman and is now leading by one win.

The third season continues next Saturday  with the second leg of the Diamond International Montblanc Challenge Series.

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