Crucial Appeal goes all the way
The vastly improved five-year-old gelding CRUCIAL APPEAL beat a crack field of grade horses at Caymanas Park yesterday, going wire to wire in the annual renewal of the Lady Geeta Trophy over 1200 metres for a decisive win.
Offering odds of 6-1 with Paul Francis riding him from the handy mark of 50.0kg, CRUCIAL APPEAL kept on strongly over the final 200 metres to stave off 9-5 favourite UPPA TUNE, with champion jockey Dane Nelson, by 1-1/2 lengths in a field of eight.
Finishing third, another neck away, was last year's winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR (5-1) with Robert Halledeen aboard, while fourth went to the reigning champion sprinter POTCHEEN (5-2) under leading jockey Omar Walker.
broke the stranglehold
The Patrick Lynch-trained CRUCIAL APPEAL thus broke the stranglehold on grade one trophy races by veteran trainer Harry Parsard this season. Parsard as usual posted three challengers in UPPA TUNE, POTCHEEN and PETE'SWILDONE, but none proved good enough on this occasion as CRUCIAL APPEAL was presented in unbeaten fashion.
He led at a fast clip from highly fancied FORTUNEONEHUNDRED (5-2) with UPPA TUNE in third, behind blistering splits of 22.3, 45.0 for the half mile and 1:12.0 winning time.
By Crucial Trial out of Late Appeal, CRUCIAL APPEAL, who is owned by Hamark Farms and bred by Edison Chai, was notching his eighth win from 20 career starts, but his first in grace one company.
On a day when jockey Shane Ellis highlighted the 10-race programme with four winners, including 10-1 chance TERRA MARIQUE, who won the eighth race in a blanket finish, the Everal Francis-trained CHIEF SECRETARIAT (7-1), with Shamaree Muir aboard, held off the slow-starting SIR PLUMMY (2-1) to win the closing race over 1500 metres for the Joshua Morrison Memorial Cup in a driving finish.
The Jamaica Oaks will be run next Saturday over 2000 metres.