Dreamliner wins SVL Cash Pot Trophy in Zugulu's absence
Race number one of the Supreme Ventures 2-Y-O Triple Crown Series, the $3-million Cash Pot 'Only one For Me' Trophy, turned out to be an anti-climax, as the howling 4-5 favourite, ZUGULU, flipped over in the starting gate and was declared a late non-starter, this paving the way for DREAMLINER to take top honours.
The late withdrawal of the unbeaten ZUGULU was a bitter pill to swallow for leading jockey Shane Ellis, who was a distraught man following the turn of events. Still, he gained some compensation in the very next race, booting home 5-1 chance PERFECT FLYER in fine style.
"The good thing about Zugulu is that he did not sustain serious injury from the fall and will live to fight another day," said the jockey, who turned 42 on Saturday.
Despite the absence of the Richard Azan-trained ZUGULU, the race was keenly contested by a field of nine, especially by the trio of horses from the stables of 14-time champion Wayne DaCosta, namely, DREAMLINER at 4-1 with Richard 'Bya' Mitchell aboard, VISION at 3-1 with top apprentice Linton Steadman astride and FUTURE KING, also at 3-1, under stable-jockey Robert Halledeen.
A noted front runner, DREAMLINER was held off the early pace on this occasion as VISION led under pressure from FEDORA (33-1) and BUBBLING KITTEN (8-1).
VISION was still marginally in front approaching the distance, but his lead was being whittled down by NUCLEAR AFFAIR (7-1) on the outside, with former champion Omar Walker and DREAMLINER closing up strongly on the rails under a torrid left-hand stick from Mitchell. In the end, DREAMLINER surged through in the closing stages to beat the Gary Subratie-trained NUCLEAR AFFAIR by 1 1/4 length with another neck to FUTURE KING in third.
Owned by Von White and bred by Y.S. (1955) Limited, DREAMLINER was notching his third win from only four starts. But according to DaCosta, the plan was to use different tactics with lots of speed present in the race:
"I instructed the jockey to ride him from off the pace... . The horse had trained different for this particular race, and although my other two horses were both expected to figure seriously, Mitchell rode a peach of a race, and this paid dividends," said DaCosta, who also posted PERFECT NEIGHBOUR to win Saturday's Gold Cup feature. DREAMLINER is a bay colt by Porto Santo out of Golden Olympio.
DaCosta posted a second winner in 2-1 chance DINNER BY SEVEN, with Linton Steadman aboard in the seventh race over 1100 metres, while DI COBRE, at 27-1, romped the second race for the round five Norman Manley Memorial Cup for $250,000 - $210,000 claimers, giving new apprentice Dane Dawkins the first win of his career.
The Harry Parsard-trained KIMMY'S CHOICE, a chance ride for O'Neil Mullings, also posted another upset win in the third race for two-year-olds, winning at odds of 25-1.