Will In Charge too strong for She's A Maneater
Robert Pearson's giant killer, WILL IN CHARGE, yesterday claimed his biggest scalp yet, flooring Horse of the Year SHE'S A MANEATER in a gate-to-wire run in the 1820-metre Legal Light Trophy, clocking a stakes record 1:54.4.
Having twice stopped champion stayer BIGDADDYKOOL in consecutive 10-furlong stakes races last season, WILL IN CHARGE franked his improvement with a solid performance under in-form jockey Robert Halledeen.
Burdened by topweight 57.0 kilos in her first handicap, SHE'S A MANEATER chased the five-year-old horse relentlessly from the off but got burnt in a match race from which BIGDADDYKOOL was scratched.
Sent straight to the lead by Halledeen, WILL IN CHARGE rounded the clubhouse turn with a one-length lead and had Omar Walker aboard SHE'S A MANEATER asking the filly for more at the half-mile marker.
Running strong on the lead, WILL IN CHARGE turned for home three lengths in front and dug in determinedly, just as he did against BIGDADDYKOOL in the Prime Minister and Governor General's Stakes, lowering his old rival's stakes record by a fifth of a second, a mark he had set in last year's race.
Ridden flat out by Walker, SHE'S A MANEATER tried hard to wear down her older and lighter rival but found topweight too burdensome and had to settle for second, beaten by a length, equalling the stakes record in her losing effort.
Meanwhile, leading riders Anthony Thomas and Ellis dominated the 11-race card, notching a double and a hat-trick, respectively.
Thomas, who started the day six winners clear of Ellis atop the jockeys' standings, won the first two races aboard favourites LIGHTNING MCQUEEN and LAGUNA POINT.
Ellis responded with a hat-trick in the seventh to ninth races, RAKSHA (5-2), BAD BOY TRUMP (2-1), closing with a chance ride aboard 18-1 outsider ZUGULU.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Wednesday.