Drone Strike stuns Boom Derby field
Patrick Lynch, the reclusive trainer who used THE BOMBER to win the 2007 Jamaica Derby within a month of debuting, yesterday pulled off another giant-killing feat in the country's biggest race with 24-1 outsider DRONE STRIKE.
Running for only the sixth time and winless in four starts as a three-year-old, DRONE STRIKE was set alight by jockey Aaron Chatrie at the half-mile, going in chase of MARQUESAS, who, surprisingly, shot past COMMANDER TWO and DRUMMER BOY from five furlongs out.
Full of running and charging at MARQUESAS coming off the home turn, DRONE STRIKE got jockey Aaron Chatrie's favourite route along the rail and quickened to grab the lead early in the stretch run.
"When I saw him that close to the leaders, I knew he would kick again," said Lynch, hardly breaking a smile in the winners' enclosure after DRONE STRIKE stayed on strongly to beat MARQUESAS by two and three quarter lengths.
Anthony Nunes' filly, FAYROUZ, the 8-5 favourite, improved into third three furlongs out but was no match for the colts, finishing a distance behind, 28 lengths, to claim third place ahead of 79-1 outsider, SON SON.
Ironically, the day's co-feature, tbe nine-furlong Viceroy Trophy, also sprung a 24-1 upsetter, Nunes' HOUDINI'S MAGIC, who made all under Wesley Henry to upstage the country's top-rated horses - the best-placed being BIGDADDYKOOL, who finished third ahead of fourth-place WILL IN CHARGE while 2-5 favourite SHE'S A MANEATER finished last in the six-horse field after stumbling at the start.
DRONE STRIKE was the last of six double-digit stunners on the 12-race card, including OBAMA GIRL, who was later disqualified in the eighth race and the event awarded to 7-2 chance EMPRESS NICOLE after jockey Richard Reid weighed in 1.5 kilos lighter than the 51.5 kilos with which he had gone to the starting gate.
Nunes was the top derby day trainer with two winners, HOUDINI'S MAGIC and DANOS LA PAZ in the fifth, one of two winning favourites for the entire afternoon.
Non-claiming apprentice Jerome Innis booted home two winners, 16-1 shot TOUGH COOKIE in the fourth and DON'T BLUSH BABE at 6-1 in the sixth.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park this weekend with back-to-back meets to start July, Saturday and Sunday.