Ellis rides four-timer
Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer
In a driving finish, CLASSIC BEAU (Dick Cardenas, inside) holds on grimly by a nose from the fast-finishing HEART OF GOLD (Richard Mairs) to win the New Year's Day Trophy race over 1300 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday. Classic Beau won at odds of 5-1.
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Former champion jockey Shane Ellis rode four winners at Caymanas Park yesterday to start the new year with a bang, serving notice that he will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Among his winners was the impressive American four-year-old colt CASSANOVA BOY, who made all in the CTL Fan Appre-ciation Day Trophy co-feature over 2200 metres contested by eight overnight allowance horses.
One of three winners for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta on the holiday card, CASSANOVA BOY found a lot extra when THE GREYT DOCTOR (9-2) and KOKOPELLI CAT (8-1) loomed large on his outside entering the straight, moving away to win by 41/2 lengths from the late-closing 7-1 shot GO ROBIN GO.
CASSANOVA BOY, who made his local debut as late as September 23 last year, is unbeaten in four starts. He is owned jointly by Elizabeth DaCosta, Winston Kong and Raymond 'Mitta' Rousseau.
Ellis rode three winners for DaCosta, the others being 1-4 favourite TRIAL LAWYER in the second race over 1400 metres for maiden three-year-olds and the lightly raced American three-year-old filly FLUFFY, who went off a 2-5 favourite in the fourth race over the round five course.
His fourth winner was 7-5 favourite FABULOUSCONNECTION who made all convincingly in the fifth race over 1600 metres. The 4-y-o colt was saddled by in-form trainer Richard Azan, who posted a second winner in the New Year's Day Trophy race over 1300 metres.
By a nose
Unlike FABULOUSCONNECTION, CLASSIC BEAU (5-1) who made virtually all with Dick Cardenas astride, had to pull out all the stops to hold on by a nose from the fast-finishing 2-1 shot HEART OF GOLD, who failed by the bop of a head to give DaCosta a fourth win on the card.
The 7-5 favourite BURNING CIELO finished another 21/2 lengths away third in the seven-strong field.
The third trophy race on the card, the $1 million renewal of the McKay & Consultants Trophy over 1820 metres, was the most valuable on the card even though confined to lowly $180,000 claimers.
It was won by 5-1 chance NATURAL HEART, who made all with Andre Martin riding for owner/trainer George Moo-Young.
After throwing off a feeble challenge from the even-money favourite SPACESAVER at the final bend, NATURAL HEART had to be hard driven in the closing stages to win by half a length from 9-1 chance FOX MAN with highly fancied SAMBA DANCER staying on for third in a field of 12.
Most valuable race
The day's upset was provided by the Vin Edwards-trained WILD GLITZ at 15-1 under Richard Mitchell in the eighth race (special claiming) over 1100 metres, running on late to win in a blanket finish. Trainer Troy Alexander finally saddled his first winner in 3-2 favourite HYPNOTICA (made all) in the sixth race for maidens over 1300 metres.