El Patron, Laptop share McKay feature
EL PATRON, offering odds of 4-1, and 3-5 favourite LAPTOP, won the respective sections of the divided McKay Security Trophy feature over 1,820 metres for $180,000 claimers yesterday, heralding a new season of racing at Caymanas Park.
The holiday card also featured the annual renewal of the Fan Appreciation Day Trophy race over 1,820 metres for overnight allowance horses. This went down to the wire with the Wayne DaCosta-trained ROYAL VIBES (3-2), under Shamaree Muir, getting up on the line to beat stable-companion and 7-5 favourite ALL CORRECT with Shane Ellis by a head.
The 14th running of the McKay Security Trophy with a total purse of $1.5 million provided its fair share of drama. EL PATRON, with Robert Halledeen aboard, was awarded division one by the stewards following the disqualification of the Marlon Anderson-trained HOGANS HERO (5-2), with Jevanne Erwin aboard, for interference in the last 100 metres.
HOGANS HERO shot into the lead at the half mile and held on grimly by a length from the fast-finishing EL PATRON in a field of 10. But following a stewards inquiry, their positions were reversed, HOGANS HERO having drifted out into the path of EL PATRON in deep stretch.
In contrast, division two provided the out-of-class LAPTOP with a runaway win, this by all of 16 lengths from PRIESTKING (3-1) after going past the early leader MINISTEROFJUSTICE (5-1) at the half mile. The five-year-old son of Distorted - Docs' Paladin was ridden by Shane Ellis for owner/trainer Anthony Smith who posted him to his second consecutive win.
In-form trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes highlighted the 10-race programme with three winners, including even-money favourite LOCKED AND LOADED, who went wire to wire with Erwin astride in the New Year's Day Trophy restricted allowance III contested by six starters. A 4-y-o chestnut colt by Adore The Gold out of Runin On Empty, LOCKED AND LOAED is owned jointly by Elias Haloute, Stephan Narinesingh and Mark Roberts.
Nunes, who has posted a bagful of winners in the past four weeks, also won the opening two-year-old race with his highly fancied newcomer ROYAL ASSAULT (made all) with Omar Walker up and 2-5 favourite LORD STORM for veteran owner and former Jockey Club president, Alex Hamilton in the maiden condition race for four-year-olds and up, with Erwin aboard.