Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Drummer Boy springs surprise

Published:Sunday | September 6, 2020 | 12:25 AMAinsley Walters - Sunday Gleaner Writer

TOP three-year-olds NIPSTER, GREEN GOLD RUSH and DOUBLE CROWN – face off this afternoon at nine furlongs and 25 yards in the Royal Dad Trophy after finishing within a half-length of each other behind EROY at a mile on August 15.

A warm pace is expected with NIPSTER, RUM WITH ME, ROY ROGERS and GREEN GOLD RUSH enjoying good tactical speed.

NIPSTER and GREEN GOLD RUSH had left DOUBLE CROWN flat-footed last time out, going in chase of EROY.

DOUBLE CROWN lost three lengths between the half-mile and the top of the lane, a result of the pace increasing out of a modest 48.2 to 1:12.4, leaving Shane Ellis six lengths off the lead entering the straight.

Ellis tried his best to rouse the chestnut gelding but the leaders weren’t quitting, or so it appeared, because the winning post couldn’t have come quick enough for them to repel DOUBLE CROWN’s rush inside the last half-furlong.

A few strides past the post, DOUBLE CROWN, who went two pounds overweight with Ellis, was pulling up alongside EROY and GREEN GOLD RUSH with NIPSTER four wide.

Dick Cardenas replaces Ellis astride DOUBLE CROWN in a perfect merger. Cardenas will be all too happy to watch NIPSTER, GREEN GOLD RUSH, ROY ROGERS and RUM WITH ME go at it before producing the far-striding runner.

Yesterday, Wayne DaCosta’s 2018 Governor’s Cup winner, DRUMMER BOY, running for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown, reported off a five-month lay-up to stun sprinters at five furlongs straight, striking at odds of 13-1 in the GA ‘Sarge’ Bucknor Memorial Cup.

DRUMMER BOY, partnered by female apprentice, Abigail Able, sat third behind course specialist, PEKING CRUZ, and in-form NUCLEAR THUNDER, before accelerating inside the last half-furlong.

PEKING CRUZ appeared well on his way to outgun rivals at his favourite trip after getting rid of NUCLEAR THUNDER but shortened badly inside the last half-furlong, giving way to DRUMMER BOY, closing fast along the stands’ side.

DRUMMER BOY’s stablemate, ROJORN DI PILOT, stayed on for second ahead of RAS EMANUEL, who made the best of a bad draw, post-position one, to finish third along the inner rail.

DRUMMER BOY closed a two-timer for DaCosta whose down-in-class HOVER CRAFT overhauled 12-1 shot DEZZY THE GENIUS close home at nine furlongs and 25 yards.

Ryan Darby also saddled two winners, PARAJET and MADAM SECRETARY at three and five furlongs straight, respectively.

Tevin Foster, who closed the card with Darby’s MADAM SECRETARY, led the day with two winners, also booting home 8-1 chance REDFORD, who upset DaCosta’s big favourite, SWEET TOPPINS, in the sixth event.