Orville Clarke, Freelance Writer
PITTACUS, running on a damp track resulting from a light drizzle, is eased at the winning post by jockey Brian Harding in yesterday's open allowance feature for the Nigel B. Nunes Memorial Trophy over 1820 metres at Caymanas Park. - IAN ALLEN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
COMING THREE wide of the leaders at the home turn, PITTACUS scored a fitting victory in yesterday's open allowance feature for the Nigel B. Nunes Memorial Trophy over 1820 metres at Caymanas Park.
Significantly, PITTACUS is trained by Anthony 'Baba' Nunes who is a son of the late trainer in whose memory the race was run. A top polo player in his time, Nunes was champion trainer in 1976.
Installed a 2-1 second favourite in a field of six, PITTACUS was not the best away from the number one post position but mended quickly to race off the pace in fourth as CHOSEN ONE, COURT CASE and TOTAL MOTION jostled for the lead on a damp track, with the 3-5 favourite HERECOMESFUDGIE outpaced under champion jockey Trevor Simpson.
PITTACUS started his winning run leaving the half mile when closing steadily on the leaders, challenged the leading pair of COURT CASE (3-1) and TOTAL MOTION (10-1) three wide entering the straight and moved away in a flash to win by 8 3/4 lengths from the late closing ALL FOR PLEASURE (12-1) with TOTAL MOTION fading into third.
Owned by Elias Haloute and Edmund Lam, and bred by the Orange Valley Estates Limited, PITTACUS, a 5-y-o bay gelding by Pat N Jac out of the Peacemaker mare Vicegerent, notched his fourth win from seven starts this season and seems on course for the November 12 Red Stripe Superstakes, a race he won as a three-year-old in 2003.
Earlier on the nine-race programme, the Philip Feanny-trained MINISTER ON FIRE (2-5 fav) with Simpson aboard, ran on gamely in deep stretch to catch and beat the front-running BULLET TRAIN (4-5) by3/4 lengths in the Keeling Memorial Cup two-year-old race over 1100 metres to be unbeaten in three starts.
A chestnut colt by Royal Minister out of Awesome Wonder, MINISTER ON FIRE is owned by Tres Amigos.
THIRD TROPHY RACE
The third trophy race on the card, the $330,000 - $290,000 claiming for the Ossie Steele Memorial Cup over 1200 metres, was won in fine style by TROPICAL STORM (2-1) with Harding riding for part-owner and trainer Louis Richards.
TROPICAL STORM made most and kept on strongly up the lane to win convincingly from the Simpson-ridden 4-5 favourite DR. RSF who hurt his chances by missing the break from the number one post position in a field of seven.
Simpson and Harding shared the riding honours with two winners each, Simpson moving to 56 and Harding to 53.
Welsh Soutar emerged top trainer with two winners in SHANIA who romped the opening race by the proverbial city block under sparingly used jockey Wilmot Gajardah and 6-5 favourite I AM PAID FOR with Clive Lynch astride in the sixth race over 1500 metres.