Sweet victory

How Poetic Licence did it

Saturday’s dust at the Garrison Savannah has now settled and bragging rights have remained firmly on home soil.

The record will show that one of the biggest Barbados Derby crowds in the history of the event turned up over the weekend to witness Poetic Licence produce a spine-tingling performance to win this year’s prestigious event.

Poetic Licence slammed the field.
Poetic Licence slammed the field.

That her victory did not come as a surprise to many fans and punters did not make it any less sweet. In fact, the victory was a reinforcement not only of the pedigree of the horse but also the skills of jockey Rickey Walcott.

When the starter raised his red flag to send the field on their way in the 10-furlong showcase, Poetic Licence rocketed out of the starting stalls like a rocket heading into space. Moving down in front the stands for the first time Poetic Licence was already six lengths clear.

There was chatter around the Garrison that jockey Rickey Walcott would have to be crazy to try to sprint ten furlongs. Going over the hill past the four-furlong marker and Poetic Licence was still six lengths and Walcott was giving her a little relaxation. Three furlongs out and she sprinted off again.

Donicodidit finished very fast but could not get there this time as he did in the Midsummer Classic and had to settle for second place. Poetic Licence had set out blistering fractions of 24.0 for two furlongs, 48 .2 for four furlongs, 113.0 for six furlongs and 1:38.6 for the mile to stop the clock in two minutes, ten seconds, four seconds slower than Fresh Milk who has the derby record.

It was back to back Derby wins for Walcott, trainer Victor Cheeseman and owner Bills Inc. as they won the Derby last year with Voldemort.

Not since 1970 and 1971 had a jockey, owner and the same trainer done the double in back to back years in the Barbados Derby. Poetic Licence has now joined a select group of horses that have won the first leg of the Triple Crown, lost the second and returned to win the Derby.

Chally Jones and Vintage won the Barbados Derby in 1970. The mount was owned by Richard Atkinson and trained by Pat Fletcher. In 1971 the trio repeated with Berares. Much praise must go to trainer Victor Cheeseman who had the three-year -old Poetic Licence in superlative condition to stay every yard of the ten furlongs.

Poetic Licence and Donicodidit have been nominated for the Trinidad Derby on September 24.

Trinidadian entrant Bulletproof raced a creditable seventh of the 11 runners. The Derby Trifecta paid $68.90 and the $Hi-5 paid $3,404.50. Some lucky punter went home smiling.

In the co-feature The T.A. “Tommy” Peirce Memorial Trophy, Shared Adventure set the track on fire, equalling the track record of 133.1. His archrival Sirus Black came up in weight and carried level weight for the first time. When the gates flew, Shared Adventure shot out very speedily from the start and was quickly joined by Vitality.

As the two went around the paddock bend Vitality cut out the early fractions with Shared Adventure tucked in second position with one of Barbados’ leading jockey Kyle Carter in the saddle. Four furlongs out Shared Adventure took up the lead from a fading Vitality.

Sirus Black and Just A Fashion were closing, with Indiano Jones and Nekita quickening from way down the field. As they passed the finish line Shared Adventure  won by one length from a fast finishing Sirus Black. Indiano Jones got up in the dying moments to run third with his stable mate Nekita fourth and Just A Fashion fading to fifth.

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