Stunning Superluminal upset in Jamaica St Leger
The topsy turvy classic campaign ended on a dramatic note at Caymanas Park yesterday, with the little fancied SUPERLUMINAL scoring a stunning upset (35-1) in the 89th running of the ISP Finance Services Limited Jamaica St Leger, for native bred three-year-olds over 2000 metres.
Ridden by Paul ‘Country’ Francis for veteran trainer Harry Parsard and owner P.J.K., SUPERLUMINAL, who finished a remote fifth to SEEKING MY DREAM in the recent Cal’s Jamaica Derby, reported a different animal, turning the tables on the Wayne DaCosta-trained SEEKING MY DREAM, the howling 3-5 favourite, to beat him by a length.
Both horses were engaged in a terrific stretch duel, with SUPERLUMINAL gaining the ascendancy in the last furlong for a fighting victory.
The backers of SUPERLUMINAL had to survive a lengthy stewards’ inquiry as well as jockey’s objection from Omar Walker, the rider of SEEKING MY DREAM. Both horses rubbed each other close approaching the distance and into the last furlong, necessitating the inquiry, which was overruled by the stewards after an agonising 15-minute deliberation.
The 2000 Guineas winner, ALI BABA, highly fancied at 2-1 with Robert Halledeen aboard and SHINING LIGHT (19-1) jostled for the lead passing the stands for the first time ahead of MERLIN (44-1) and SEEKING MY DREAM.
The race was on in earnest when SEEKING MY DREAM was sent through by Walker at the half mile.
SUPERLUMINAL, who was never far off the pace in sixth, went in chase leaving the half mile and mounted his challenge on the outside of SEEKING MY DREAM entering the straight. In the ensuing duel, SUPERLUMINAL proved stronger in the last furlong, as SOUTHERN CRUISE stayed on strongly for third, another 1 ½ lengths away. Eleven ran.
Parsard, who is no stranger to winning grade one races this season, thanks to notable wins by POTCHEEEN and UPPA TUNE, said he was very confident that SUPERLUMINAL would upset the applecart.
“He is not only improving, but his fifth place finish in the derby did not do him justice, as he was in receipt of a poor ride. If you look at a replay of the derby, you would realise that he ran 12 ½ furlongs instead of 12 furlongs. He ran wide from the clubhouse turn and stayed wide for most of the way, losing valuable ground.
“In the circumstances, he did well to finish fifth and having trained well in preparation for the St. Leger, I knew he would make amends, at long odds. I am elated with the win and the hard work paid off since he made his debut back in February,” explained Parsard.
A bay colt by Natural Selection out of Thousand Hills, SUPERLUMINAL was bred by Y.S. (1955) Limited. This was his second win from eight starts, having scored a 16-1 upset over subsequent Lotto Classic (Governor’s Cup) winner, KRONUS, over 1700 metres on May 6.
Parsard had a second winner on the card in 4-1 chance WINGS OF HOPE (Walker up) in the fourth race over 1300 metres.