Alacrann rules at Caymanas
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
ALACRANN, ridden by champion jockey, Dane Nelson, for new owners Stephan Narinesingh and Christian Gokool, turned in another superlative performance to win the $4.25 million Supreme Ventures Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes which marked its 103rd running over a mile at Caymanas Park yesterday.
A bumper holiday crowd saw the Anthony 'Baba' Nunes-trained ALACRANN running on strongly along the rails to catch the leaders a furlong out, going on to win this the third and final race in the $10.8 million SVL Triple Crown Series for native bred two-year-olds by 31/4l, from 7-1 chance ALI BABA, who was always prominent in a field of nine.
By virtue of this victory, his second in a row following his decisive win in the $3.6-million Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres on November 28, ALACRANN stamped himself as the season's champion two-year-old and is already a winter book favourite for the classics next year.
Nunes is hoping that the owners of ALACRANN, who are Trinidadians and could ship the horse to race in the twin island republic next year as did the owner of BIGMAN IN TOWN in 2012, will allow him to contest next season's classics at Caymanas Park. Previously owned by Elias Haloute, ALACRANN was recently sold by him to Narinesingh and Gokool for an offer he could not refuse, according to Nunes.
The betting made ALACRANN a 4-5 favourite with good support coming in for the filly COME DANCE WITH ME at 9-5 under Shane Ellis and POLLY B at 5-1 with Robert Halledeen aboard.
ALACRANN in top gear
Once again, the speedsters COME DANCE WITH ME from the Dwight Chen stables and the Wayne DaCosta-trained POLLY B disputed the lead into the straight ahead of ALI BABA. But ALACRANN, who was held up in sixth position passing he half mile, moved into top gear on entering the straight, blasting past COME DANCE WITH ME a furlong out to win in the fairly good time of 1:39.2, behind splits of 24.0, 47.3 and 1:13. 4 for the first six furlongs.
Nunes said the colt lived up to his expectations and the sky's the limit for him in 2015.
"He has improved and with the distance of a mile just perfect, I knew he would prove too strong for rivals in the crucial stages," said the second generation trainer who has done very well with his large string of horses this season, winning both the Derby and St. Leger with RELAMPAGO.
"ALACRANN is an easy horse to ride and Nelson timed the race perfectly, coming through on the inside a furlong out to win going. I am elated with the victory", he added.
ALACRANN who has now won three races from five starts and $5.2 million in stakes, is a three-year-old chestnut colt by champion sire Traditional out of Maria's Appeal, bred by Brian Murray.
Earlier in the afternoon, the 2013 derby winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, highly fancied at 8-5 with Shamaree Muir riding for champion trainer DaCosta, assumed the lead from COMMANDNG CHIEF (7-2) at the half mile and proceeded to beat him by four lengths in the Harry Jackson Memorial Cup grade one supporting feature over 2400 meters. The winner covered the distance in the smart time of 2:32.4. The recent Superstakes winner TYPEWRITER ran way below expectations (outpaced) as the 2-5 favourite in a field of six.