Classy Campesino wins St Catherine Cup
CAMPESINO confirmed his status as one of the country's top sprinters with a fast-time runaway victory in yesterday's open allowance feature for the St Catherine Cup over 1100 metres at Caymanas Park.
Toting topweight of 57.0kg, CAMPESINO, with Robert Halledeen riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny and owner Howard Hamilton, was held off the early pace in third as SIR BUDGET (9-2) and POLLY B (5-2) jostled for the lead in the backstretch.
SIR BUDGET turned for home a length ahead of POLLY B, but by then, CAMPESINO was finding his best strides on the outside. He disposed of SIR BUDGET approaching the distance and moved away to win by six lengths from stable-companion BUBBLING KITTEN (7-1), covering the distance in a fast 1:05.0 behind splits of 22.2, 45.1 for the half mile. MIRACLE STAR was declared a late non-starter, reducing the field to six.
Returning from a four-week absence following his good fifth to SEEKING MY DREAM in the $13.9 million Diamond Mile on December 10, CAMPESINO has now won two of his last three races, having lowered the colours of his classy stable-companion BUZZ NIGHTMARE in the November 12 Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint Championship over 1200 metres.
Female apprentice Andree Powell, who has looked much improved in the saddle of late, highlighted the nine-race programme with two winners.
TREMENDOUS STRETCH RUN
These were the Gordon Lewis-trained GLYDER (8-5), who she brought with a late run to win the second race over the straight, and 11-1 outsider CLASSY AVIATOR for trainer Gary Subratie, the 4-y-o filly producing a tremendous stretch run from last position, widest of all, to catch 4-5 favourite MISTER BONES with former champion Dane Nelson on the line for a thrilling victory, preventing Lewis from posting a double. Her namesake, fellow claiming apprentice Andre Powell, won the third race on the card aboard 6-1 chance DOUBLE DEAL in a driving finish as well.
The day's other upset was provided by the Collin Blair-trained STORM VALLEY at 17-1 in the fifth race over 1100 metres for maiden three-year-olds. Running on Lasix for the first time, STORM VALLEY held off the fast-finishing MILAGRO (9-2) by a head with in-form apprentice Javaneil Patterson riding in the silks of the Golden Stables.