Massive outsider Samora is female rider’s first winner
Female apprentice Andree L. Powell won the first race of her career in sensational style at Caymanas Park yesterday, this aboard the 99-1 outsider SAMORA, in the seventh race over the straight for four-year-olds and up.
Although a bit overcome by emotions, Powell, who opened her account aboard her 19th mount since riding for the first time on September 26 last year, said she was elated with the win and that it came as a result of hard work, determination, and sacrifice.
"I have endured a lot in my brief stint in the saddle so far," confessed the 25-year-old apprentice, who is a past student of Clarendon College.
"In fact, I thought I would have ridden a winner before today, but on two occasions, I think I was unlucky. But nothing comes easy, and despite the frustration of not getting enough rides, my apprentice master, trainer Donovan Plummer, finally found the right horse for me in the grey Samora.
"I held him in touch on the outside of the field as the favourite Fire Alarm led in the middle, but Samora was beginning to find his best strides towards the sands side and quickened past Fire Alarm in the last furlong to win by five lengths," she explained.
Powell was one of three female riders to graduate from the Jockeys' School as full-fledged apprentices late last year. The others were Natalie Berger, who is yet to ride a winner, and Melissa Ward, who has already ridden four winners and was fourth aboard the highly-fancied GOLD SCREW in yesterday's race.
Powell said she is looking forward to further success, but as she puts it, this will require getting more rides, especially live rides.
Meanwhile, the consistent CAMPESINO, ridden by leading all-time jockey Winston Griffiths for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny and popular owner Howard Hamilton, easily justified 2-5 favouritism with an easy victory over BRAWN in the open allowance race over 1200 metres.
The 6-y-o gelding disposed of the leaders FORTUNEONEHUNDRED and ROYAL ASSAULT on entering the straight to win by 2 1/4 lengths in the good time of 1:11.0.
On a day when title-chasing jockey Omar Walker and Oneil Mullings shared the honours with two winners each, ST BERNARD (Walker up), at odds of 7-2, won the Clifford Stewart Memorial Cup over 1200 metres in a blanket finish involving AQUILO (5-1) and long-time leader EL NUMERO UNO (3-1), who was caught within shades of the wire by the first two.