Nelson shines with three-timer
Three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson started the new season with a bang at Caymanas Park yesterday, thanks to three winners on the CTL Fan Appreciation Day programme.
His winners included TARANIS (7-2) in the opening race over 1300 metres for the New Year's Day Trophy.
Nelson also won the fourth race with 4-1 chance PRINCESS SHEMIKA for trainer Steven Todd and came back in the closing race to win aboard the lightly raced 5-1 shot RAS EMANUEL for trainer Peter McMaster over 1200 metres.
On an eventful day which saw the stewards of the meet disqualifying two winners, Nelson was actually first past the post a fourth time on PAPER N LACE (3-1) for trainer Fitzgerald Richards in division one of the McKay Security Trophy, only to be disqualified and placed sixth, this for causing interference to highly fancied OH MY GRAND PA (4-1) in the early stages of the event. The race was awarded to long-time leader GRAN CORAZON, the 5-2 favourite.
Despite the misfortune, Nelson, champion jockey from 2012 to 2014, said he was happy to emerge the leading rider with a triple on the first day.
"I am pleased with all aspects of my riding, and although the plan is to do another stint in North America on and off this season, mainly at Woodbine in Toronto, Canada, I will always do well here for the benefit of my fans,' said Nelson, who is popularly called 'The Warrior Chief'.
The Richard Azan-trained 4-y-o gelding TARANIS ran on strongly to win the New Year's Day Trophy in a driving finish from highly
fancied SOUTHERN CRUISE
(5-2) with newly crowned champion jockey Shane Ellis aboard, this after the howling 1-5 favourite DRIPPING IN GOLD led until
giving way to the third horse
SHINING LIGHT (6-1) early in the straight.
Division two of the McKay Security Trophy provided a runaway win for 7-5 second favourite PERFECT FLYER with Ellis riding for trainer Dwight Chen and owner Howard Hamilton. And the day's principal feature for the Fan Appreciation Day Trophy over 1820 metres (overnight allowance) was won by 1-2 favourite ALL CORRECT in a stirring finish from the fast-finishing duo of HOUDINI'S MAGIC (5-2) and BRAWN (3-1) in a field of nine.
The winner, a 7-y-o gelding by Storm Craft out of Royal Pizzaz, was ridden by former champion Omar Walker for 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta and owners the Velvet Glove.
WARRIOR PRINCESS (5-1, made all) with Robert Halledeen aboard was the other winner to be disqualified in the second race and first place awarded to LEGENDARY PLEASURE (3-1) with whom she had interfered in the straight.