New Kingston defies his age in feature
The veteran campaigner NEW KINGSTON turned in an impressive performance to win the $600,000-$550,000 claiming race for the Labour Day Trophy over 1200 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday, storming through, leaving the furlong pole to win at odds of 6-1.
Ridden by 3.0kg claiming apprentice, Orayne Sewell, for trainer Donovan Plammer and owner Derrick Gayle, NEW KINGSTON streaked away in the closing stages to win by six lengths from 3-2 joint favourites SUNLIGHT EXPRESS and ITALIANO in a photo finish for second and third places, respectively.
Held up in midfield as DAGGA DAGGA LINKS showed good early speed on the inside to lead from ETERNAL JOY passing the half mile. SUNLIGHT EXPRESS, who bided his time on the outside in fourth, was sent through passing the 600-metre pole.
Although looking to have a bit in hand when two lengths clear app-roaching the distance, he proved no match for NEW KING-STON, as the American-bred nine-year-old gelding skittered away from early in the last furlong for his 12th win from 107 career starts, most of those recorded while he was trained by 14-time champion Wayne DaCosta.
Winning rider Simpson said conditions were ideal for NEW KINGSTON, and this time, the old stager duly capitalised.
"The trainer not only had him in good nick for this race, but the horse was conveniently placed in the weights with 51.0kg. In the end, he just proved no good for the two most fancied horses in the field, Sunlight Express and Italiano.
" Although getting on in age now, he has many more races to win," said Sewell, whose apprenticeship will soon come to an end with a new batch currently in training at the Jockeys' School.
Meanwhile, L.P. Azar Limited used the holiday meet to pay tribute to racehorse grooms at Caymanas Park.
Describing them as the most committed and dedicated group of workers in the racing industry, CTL's chairman, Andrew Azar, said:
"We at L.P. Azar thought it fitting to highlight the grooms today, and the company spent approximately $500,000 to provide gifts such as bicycles, fans, microwaves, a stove, and gift baskets to a select number of grooms, particularly the old-timers who were present in large numbers. It was our way of showing appreciation and giving back", said Azar, who received some support from Facey Commodity Limited.
On a day when Omar Walker and Shane Ellis shared the riding honours with two winners each, the mushrooming Pick-9 again proved elusive, even though there was no major upset on the card. A number of punters spotted eight of nine, each receiving $53,897. The carryover to this Saturday's race meet stands at a whopping $11.8 million.