Ian Links too classy for rivals
IAN LINKS yesterday made light work of five overmatched rivals to win the 2000-metre Reynold 'Ren' Gonzalves Memorial by 16 lengths, a distance exceeding the length of the tote board at Caymanas Park.
Partnered by two-kilo claiming apprentice Jerome Innis, the Wayne DaCosta-trained four-year-old colt sat off the pace, fifth down the backstretch, while BALLON D'OR fended off RAGING PROSPECT and MIRACLE STAR on the lead.
Asked to pick up the pace five furlongs out, IAN LINKS eased into third and literally cruised down on BALLON D'OR approaching the three-furlong marker.
Still running on the bridle, IAN LINKS effortlessly swept to the lead and turned for home with his rivals all running for second.
Ridden out by Innis in the straight, IAN LINKS flew away and won unaccompanied at odds of 1-5, leaving BALLON D'OR to beat SCAR in a private battle for second.
DaCosta closed a quick double with A THOUSAND STARS in the following event, the last race of the day.
Returning off a six-month lay-up with Omar Walker astride, the four-year-old filly tracked stablemate GOLD MINER and EXECUTIVE CHARM before taking over approaching the home turn.
Though well clear a half-furlong out, A THOUSAND STAR almost came to a halt, breaking down with Walker, who frantically kept the filly on her legs to safely get past the post.
Walker was the day's leading rider with two wins, landing the sixth event with much-improved DRAGLINE.
He was, however, denied a three-timer by the narrowest of margins, a nose, aboard 6-1 chance RED PARROT, pipped on the line by Robert Halledeen aboard BIGBROWNGREYHOPE at odds of 2-1 in the fourth race.
Walker leads the standings with 39 winners, more than doubling Halledeen on 19, his nearest active rival in the jockeys' colony.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Saturday and Labour Day, next Tuesday, May 23.