Bajans impress in the saddle

TORONTO, Canada – Several Barbadian jockeys plying their trade in Canada had successful outings on the racetrack over the weekend.

Seven-time Woodbine champion Patrick Husbands failed to make an impression in the day’s feature but made up for the disappointment by snatching three wins on the 10-race card yesterday.

The veteran rider finished fourth with 3-1 chance Listenlindalisten as favourite Silent Sonet won the CAN$125 000 Prevoyante Stakes over a mile for the three-year-old fillies in race eight.

However, Husbands scored in race two with favourite Into the Mystic, in race four with 11-1 choice Comedy Gold and in race five with Favourite Inge, to take a share of the spotlight.

He has 78 wins for the season, well adrift of leader Eurico Rosa da Silva on 119 wins. Luis Contreras lies second with 101 while Rafael Hernandez is third on 94.

Husbands’ first success of the day came over seven furlongs when he teamed up with five-year-old chestnut mare Into the Mystic to edge the three-year-old and upward fillies by a neck.

The pair broke slowly and raced off the pace as Way To Versailles produced the early splits. Husbands then rallied with the mare along the rails to reel in the leader and proved the best at the wire.

Husbands’ second win came over a mile with six-year-old chestnut gelding Comedy Gold, getting the better of the three and four-year-old and upwards by three-quarters of a length.

Once again, Husbands raced off the pace before rallying and collaring the leaders mid-stretch, and driving to the wire.

He rounded off his success in a 6-1/2 furlong trip, duelling first with No Cry Baby before steering the gelding Inge to a comfortable 2-1/2 length win over the two-year-old maidens.

In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Barbadian Chris Husbands made a huge impact at Assiniboia Down reeling off five wins, including the capture of the CAN$25 000 Winnipeg Futurity Stakes, to close the gap on leader Rohan Singh.

Riding on the nine-race card, Husbands scored in race three with 3-10 chance Dreamcastle, in race four with favourite War Hero, in race six with 4-1 bet Swiss Confederate, in race seven with 9-1 choice Dandy Deen before wrapping up aboard 3-1 bet Britt’s Vow in race eight.

With the success, Husbands eased to 42 wins for the season, now just four behind Guyanese Singh, with Adolfo Morales third on 38.

The high point of his performance, however, came in the Winnipeg Futurity when he combined with bay filly Dandy Deen to beat the two-year-olds over six furlongs.

Cheertotheyear, with Singh aboard, posted the early fractions with Vidira stalking and Husbands holding Dandy Deen off the pace.

Husbands then challenged on the late turn, duelled on the late turn with the leader before taking command and storming to the wire 4-3/4 lengths clear in a time of one minute, 13.20 seconds.

Husbands had earlier paired with seven-year-old chestnut mare Dreamcastle over 5-1/2 furlongs, to beat the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares by 2-1/2 lengths, in a front-running effort.

His second success of the day came in another 5-1/2 furlong trip, bringing seven-year-old bay gelding War Hero from off the pace to edge the three-year-old and upwards by a neck.

In race six, Husbands combined with six-year-old gelding Swiss Confederate to easily beat the three-year-old and upwards by 2-1/2 lengths over six furlongs, and followed up in the day’s penultimate race with four-year-old bay colt Britt’s Vow, trouncing the three-year-old and upwards by a length.

On Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia, Rico Walcott drew on every sinew in his body to defy two rivals in the stretch and propel Chief Know It All to the narrowest of victories in a thrilling conclusion to the CAN $150,000 British Columbia Derby at the Hastings Racecourse.

Rico Walcott astride Chief Know It All (centre) powers to victory in the muddy conditions. (Four Footed Fotos)

Walcott and the three-year-old, grey colt emerged the winners by a nose ahead of Trooper John, under Trinidad & Tobago jockey Keishan Balgobin, and Riser, ridden by local jockey Aaron Gryder, in the 1,800-metre trip, after all three flashed under the wire together.

It was the third win for Walcott in this event. He previously won aboard Title Contender four years ago and Alert Bay the following year.

This victory continues another memorable season for the ace Barbadian jockey. He will be crowned champion for the seventh time later this week at Northlands Park in the city of Edmonton in the western Canadian province of Alberta, where he regularly rides and has won 86 times for the year – 38 clear of his nearest rival.

Walcott had Chief Know It All saving ground while stalking the leaders through the stretch for the first time while racing one out from the rail.

He maintained his mount in this position in the run down the backstretch before he commenced his bid at the top of the stretch from just off the rail.

Chief Know It All wore down Riser in the last few yards while holding off a strong late move from Trooper John with Balgobin in the irons to finish with a time of one minute, 51.95 seconds.

Trooper John was allowed to settle off the early pace-setters into the stretch for the first time before Balgobin started to move him into serious contention approaching the third turn and he was full of run while going wide around the turn, and just missed out.

Riser was under pressure from More Power To Him, under Barbadian jockey Rocco Bowen, while setting quick early fractions of 22.80 and 46.76 seconds over the sloppy going, but he was unable to hold sway in the closing stages.

Also on Saturday in Edmonton, Alberta, Barbadian Damario Bynoe grabbed a share of the spotlight with a double at Northlands Park.

The young jockey landed back-to-back wins to move his aggregate to eight for the season which comes to a close next Saturday at western Canada’s premier racing oval.

Bynoe drove the 5-1 choice Vansarita to a half-length victory in the CAN $8,600 sixth race, going 1,300 metres on the dirt track.

Bynoe followed up when he steered the 17-1 long-shot Including Gold to a 2 ¼-length victory in the CAN $9,200 seventh race, also contested over 1,300m on the dirt.

Rey Williams, another Barbadian jockey, collected his 26th win of the season with a commanding 7 ½-length victory astride the 2-5 favourite My Kathleen in the CAN $9,800 penultimate race of nine on the card contested over 1,300m on the dirt.

Source: (CMC)

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