Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Muir, DaCosta team-up for hat-trick

Published:Sunday | January 4, 2015 | 12:00 AMOrville Clarke
Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer Jockey Shamaree Muir is a picture of delight after riding STRIKING DISTANCE to victory in the fifth race at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Gladstone Taylor/Photographer Shamaree Muir riding RIO COBRE (left) wins ahead of SUNLIGHT EXPRESS (centre), ridden by Orlando Foster and RED FLAG, ridden by Richard Mairs, in the three-year-old and up overnight allowance race over 1100 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.

Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta and new stable jockey Shamaree Muir teamed up for three winners at Caymanas Park yesterday, including the American seven-year-old gelding RIO COBRE, in the highly competitive overnight allowance race over 1,100 metres.

Installed an 8-5 favourite in a field of 11, RIO COBRE, running under topweight of 57.0kg having been dropped in class for the race, beat long-time leader SUNLIGHT EXPRESS (6-1), with 2.0kg claiming apprentice Orlando Foster, by a head after a stirring last furlong duel.

DaCosta and Muir also won the opening race over 1,500 metres for maiden two-year-olds with 1-9 favourite SEEKING MY DREAM, who cruised home by all of 11 lengths, and 3-2 chance STRIKING DISTANCE who held on by a short head to win the fifth race over a mile.

three-way photo finish

STRIKING DISTANCE, who sported the silks of former champion owner Carlton Watson of Cal's fame, had to be driven out in the closing stages to win in a three-way photo finish from the subsequently disqualified BOLD AVIATOR (8-5) on the inside and the even-money favourite ISRAELITE on the outside in a field of eight four-year-olds and up (non winners of three).

SEEKING MY DREAM, who was early in the lead and turned the race into a procession on this his second outing, is a chestnut colt by Seeking The Glory out of the 2008 Triple Crown winner and Horse-of-the-Year ALSAFRA.

Bred by Sherman Clachar and Norman Gordon, SEEKING MY DREAM is owned by Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, who is also a part-owner of RIO COBRE. The former minister of national security was present from the first race to lead back SEEKING MY DREAM, accompanied by his son Jay.

dream start with four winners

Muir, who rode a winner for DaCosta (ROYAL VIBES) in the Fan Appreciation Trophy on New Year's Day, is off to a dream start with four winners and says he is looking forward to "great things" this season.

"I'm riding for the most successful stable in racing on a regular basis now, and as long as I remain fit and focused, I should ride many winners in the months ahead," said the 20-year-old non-claiming apprentice.

Meanwhile, following on the heels of Thursday's disqualification of first past the post HOGAN'S HERO in division one of the McKay Security Trophy, the stewards struck again yesterday in the seventh race, demoting first past the post MOM'S STUDENT, the howling 1-5 favourite, with Shane Ellis up for causing interference to 14-1 chance KIMBERLY GOLD (awarded race) in a neck-and-neck duel down to the wire.

Jockey Rayan Wilson rode two winners in SHEVA'S BOY at 7-1 and the 55-1 outsider LARUSA to an upset win in the closing maiden condition race over 1,100 metres.