Chace the Great labours to win feature race
CHACE THE GREAT, the 2018 Caribbean Sprint champion, the oldest runner in yesterday’s non-restricted overnight allowance Sprint, used what little class he had left at age seven to outrun 7-5 favourite, GOD OF LOVE, and hold off fast-finishing UNCLE FRANK at five-and-a-half furlongs.
MR UNIVERSE, the 9-5 second favourite, led down the backstretch but was pressed by LALA DIVA for the first three furlongs and offered little resistance when GOD OF LOVE and CHACE THE GREAT attacked as a team midway the stretch run.
Roused by apprentice Kiaman McGregor, CHACE THE GREAT quickened away from GOD OF LOVE and quickly collared a weakening MR UNIVERSE, taking charge to win at odds of 6-1, handing trainer Vincent Atkinson his first career win, which he followed up by closing the card with 26-1 outsider, DANNY SPUD, partnered by Hakeem Pottinger.
Though landing the highest-rated race of the meet, CHACE THE GREAT’s winning time, 1:07.1, was equalled in the previous event by four-year-old NEVADA in a non-winners-of-two event, pouring water on the overall quality and fitness of the field, especially GOD OF LOVE, who came into the event with a time of 1:04.4 posted last December.
Atkinson and Gary Crawford saddled two winners on the first meet in three months, which welcomed back limited spectators at Caymanas Park as part of its reopening, following a shutdown forced by national measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Crawford opened the 11-race card with 6-5 favourite, United States-bred VICTORY TURN and closed a two-timer for owner M&S Syndicate with SPEECHLESS in the fourth, both horses making all from the one hole at five-and-a-half and five furlongs round, respectively.
Atkinson narrowly missed saddling a third winner after his SENSATIONAL SATIN, partnered by Pottinger, was beaten a half-length by 6-5 favourite, DOUBLE JEOPARDY, the mount of Dane Dawkins, who had two victories on the day.
Dawkins booted home back-to-back winners, 1-9 favourite FORMAL GLADIATOR in the seventh and afterwards DOUBLE JEOPARDY, both at five furlongs round.
Leading rider Dane Nelson moved his tally to 18 winners, five clear of Anthony Thomas, after scoring a runaway victory astride 4-5 favourite, STRIKING LADY, for trainer Howard Jaghai in the second event at five furlongs round.
Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Saturday with COVID-19 measures still in place – limited spectators, social distancing, masks and all, with presold tickets possibly going on sale tomorrow at the racetrack.