Nelson stars with three-timer at Caymanas Park
THREE-TIME champion jockey Dane Nelson highlighted the year's first Sunday meet at Caymanas Park yesterday with three winners to assume the lead from Omar Walker in the jockeys' standings.
Having booted home two winners in NUCLEAR AFFAIR and DOC HOLIDAY on Saturday, Nelson improved his tally yesterday with wins aboard 4-5 favourite DWAYNE STAR for trainer Patrick Lynch in the opening race over the straight; followed up aboard even-money favourite WILL IN CHARGE for trainer Robert Pearson in the sixth over a mile; and closed out the triple aboard 4-1 chance EL NUMERO UNO for trainer Lawrence Freemantle in the closing race over 1300 metres.
Nelson, who is popularly called 'The Warrior Chief', pushed his early-season tally to nine wins - two clear of four-time champion Walker, who rode one winner at the back-to-back meets, LITTLE BIG HORN at 2-1 in division one of the Mercury Sprint on Saturday.
Nelson missed the opportunity to make it a four-timer yesterday when odds-on favourite EDISON was beaten in a driving finish by the front-running 5-2 chance FORCE DE JOUR and RED FLAG in the overnight allowance coming a trifle late.
Champion for three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014, Nelson said he is happy with his form following a stint in North America in the second half of 2015.
"I learnt a lot riding abroad, and this has enhanced the quality of my riding. Despite a recent spill which resulted in a broken nose, I am in very good physical shape right now, and as long as I get good rides, (I) will be constantly among the winners," said the popular jockey.
Meanwhile, 4-5 favourite MIRACLE STAR ran on strongly to win the City of Kingston Centenary Cup feature over a mile for $550,000-$500,000 claiming horses. Trained by Patrick Chang, the seven-year-old son of Miracle Man-Irish Star was ridden by Wesley 'Callaloo' Henry, who had a second winner on the card in 5-2 chance REGGAE GOLD.
The mayor of Kingston, Angella Brown-Burke, was on hand to present the Centenary Cup to the connections of MIRACLE STAR.