Potcheen triumphs in Gold Cup
Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Running on strongly from early in the straight, the newly-crowned Caribbean sprint champion POTCHEEN moved away to score a decisive victory in the 43rd running of the Wassy Bike/Alex's Import-sponsored Gold Cup race (grade one) over 1400 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Ridden by top apprentice O'Brien White for trainer Robert Pearson, POTCHEEN, running as the 5-2 second favourite under the light impost of 48.5kg, led home a sweep of the first three places for his stable in winning by a lengths from his well backed table-companion UPPA TUNE (7-2) with jockey Paul Francis and yet another stable-companion, PETE'SWILDONE at odds of 10-1 in third.
The betting made the recent Superstakes winner TYPEWRITER a 2-1 favourite under big-race jockey Shane Ellis but the classy five-year-old gelding was run off his legs in the backstretch and could only manage fifth under topweight of 57.0kg.
The fleet-footed trio of TALENTED TONY K (22-1), CRUCIAL APPEAL (12-1) and UPPA TUNE ensured that the race was run at a fast pace. All three were locked in a terrific battle for the lead passing the half mile, at which stage POTCHEEN bided his time just off the early pace in sixth position. The speed took its toll on the leaders entering the straight and POTCHEEN, looming large between UPPA TUNE and TALENTED TONY K approaching the distance, squeezed through between horses leaving the furlong pole to notch his third win from his last four starts.
popular handicap race
Second generation trainer Pearson, son of Tony Pearson, said he was elated to have achieved the sweep in this popular handicap race, but added that he expected all three to figure.
"They have been consistent, and having done well, all three having won in recent months, they will be rested for the remainder of the season.
"Potcheen had a hard race in winning the Caribbean Sprint by a short head a month ago, but he recovered in time to take his chances here. He worked well last Monday morning and, given the light impost, I really fancied his chances", said Pearson.
A 5-y-o chestnut gelding by Traditional out of Bubble Gum Hottie, POTCHEEN is owned by the Curragh Jamaica Agency and bred by Percy 'Burt' Tomlinson.