Uppa Tune all the way
The versatile and consistent American 6-y-o horse, UPPA TUNE, made all convincingly to win the annual renewal of the grade one None Such Sprint Trophy over 1200 metres feature event at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Offering the generous odds of 3-1 with Paul 'Country' Francis riding for veteran trainer Harry Parsard and owners P.J.K., UPPA TUNE was smartly away from the number-five post position and proceeded to lead comfortably from stable-companion POTCHEEN, the even-money favourite, and highly fancied PERFECT NEIGHBOUR (9-5) in a field of six.
Running like a well-oiled machine, UPPA TUNE turned for home with a three-length advantage over reigning champion sprinter POTCHEEN and the 2013 derby winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, then kept on strongly in the closing stages to hold the fast-finishing PERFECT NEIGHBOUR at bay by 11/4 lengths with POTCHEEN third. He covered the distance in the good time of 1:11.3 behind splits of 23.3 and 46.1.
This was UPPA TUNE's third win from seven starts this season and his 13th from 49 starts locally for total stakes of $9.2 million. He had previously won the Reggae Trophy over the straight on July 11, and, according to Peter John Parsard, grandson of the winning trainer, is one of the most consistent horses in training over any distance.
"He has served us well and, being the lone speed present, would have taken a lot of caching in this small field despite the obvious class of topweight Potcheen.
"We are happy with the season he is having and the plan is to run him in the US$115,000 Diamond Mile on December 5 if he meets the eligibility criteria," added Peter John, son of trainer Ian Parsard, who conditioned UPPA TUNE up to a year ago.
Earlier in the afternoon, PRINCESS SHINE, with O'Brien White riding for owner-trainer Fitzroy Glispie, came from last to first in winning the Kenneth Mattis OD Memorial Cup supporting feature over 2000 metres for overnight allowance horses at odds of 7-2.
Shane Ellis rode one winner in 1-2 favourite TARANIS to maintain a narrow lead over closest rival, Robert Halledeen, who rode two winners in the Wayne DaCosta-trained 2-y-o colt FUTURE KING and WINESHA. Ellis moved to 56, Halledeen to 55, and Omar Walker, 51, after winning the third race aboard 6-5 favourite FORCE DE JOUR.
The last batch of apprentices, who graduated from the Jockeys' School three years ago, stopped claiming yesterday to pave the way for the new batch which was scheduled to ride on Wednesday.
However, it is understood that their racecourse debut against senior jockey has been pushed back and the 18 apprentices ordered back to school by the Jamaica Racing Commission for disciplinary reasons.