Franfield tunes up for Superstakes with fine win
THE 2015 Superstakes winner, FRANFIELD, won his dress rehearsal for this year's running with a decisive victory over the 2-5 favourite PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in the 57th running of the Governor General's Stakes grade one feature over 2000 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Installed a 7-5 second favourite with top apprentice Bebeto Harvey riding for trainer Richard Azan in a field of six, FRANFIELD made virtually all. He was pressed by the lightly weighted hat-trick seeker, SUPERLUMINAL (2-1), from a long way out, but slipped away leaving the quarter pole to win by four lengths from PERFECT NEIGHBOUR (Omar Walker up), who failed in his bid to win this race for the third consecutive year.
A 5-y-o chestnut horse by Traditional out of the Royal Minister mare Supa Lei, FRANFIELD was notching his second win from five starts this season. Azan was pleased with the victory, noting that the timing was significant.
"With the Superstakes a month away, I am happy to see that he is in winning form as the Superstakes remains his major objective," said Azan.
Claiming apprentice Dane Dawkins dominated the 11-race programme with four winners, two for veteran trainer Robert Darby Sr in VALLEY OF QUEENS and OUR CREATION in the third and sixth races, respectively.
Dawkins was notching the first four-timer of his career, but missed out on a glorious chance to ride five winners when the classy 3-y-o filly, PINELOPE (disputed lead), was beaten in a driving finish by 3-1 chance BLUE DIXIE and highly fancied TYPEWRITER in the inaugural running of the Errol 'Big Sub' Subratie Memorial Trophy over a mile for overnight allowance horses.
Ridden by Paul 'Country' Francis for popular owner Michros, BLUE DIXIE scored a fitting victory. She is trained by Gary Subratie, the son of the late owner-trainer Errol Subratie, in whose memory the race was run.
As a result of yesterday's four-timer, the 23-year-old Dawkins has improved to joint fourth in the jockeys' standings with 34 wins, tied with fellow apprentice Bebeto Harvey, who rode two winners on the card.
Meanwhile, with Hurricane Matthew expected to hit Jamaica by tomorrow, Caymanas Track Limited has put contingency plans in place to minimise its effect on the racing industry.
According to track superintendent Everton Henry, the tote board will be completely covered to withstand the effects of the rain and wind, while drains within the stable area have been cleaned to minimise the effects of flooding.