Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
In a driving finish involving three horses, SIR SOUTH got up in the nick of time to beat MINISTEROFJUSTICE and 3-5 favourite THE GUV in the annual renewal of the Jockey Club Stakes over 1400 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
In the last 100 metres it appeared that any of the three could win, but champion jockey Dick Cardenas brought 5-2 chance SIR SOUTH with a well-timed run on the outside to beat 23-1 outsider MINISTEROFJUSTICE, under leading jockey Dane Nelson, by a neck, with a further head to THE GUV, with Shane Ellis aboard, third.
Rolex finished a close fourth in the field of seven which contested the overnight allowance contest.
It was the rank outsider ROLEX who made most of the running ahead of MINISTEROFJUSTICE and RIGHT MARKER, with THE GUV racing just off the early pace in fourth and SIR SOUTH outpaced in fifth passing the half-mile.
MINISTEROFJUSTICE turned for home under pressure from THE GUV on the outside and RIGHT MARKER on the rails, but all three were mowed down by SIR SOUTH, who came flying at the finish under a torrid right hand stick from Cardenas.
SIR SOUTH, who made amends for his near miss against SAINT TRAIL in his previous race, is owned, trained and bred by Gordon Lewis.
"He should have won his previous race," said the elated trainer. "I knew he had a good chance of beating The Guv today.
"Cardenas rode him to my instructions ... come the last two and based on this victory, he will always be a tough opponent over middle distances," he added.
On a day when the fleet-footed MR. SKILL (Ellis up) notched his seventh win of the season in the opening round-five race, Cardenas rode two winners in SIR SOUTH and evens favourite NO COINCIDENCE, the latter one of two winners for trainer Patrick Chang on the eight-race programme.
The day's only upset came via the 25-1 outsider IT'S A GIFT in the third race over 1200 metres for maiden three-year-olds. Ridden by Aaron Chatrie for owner/trainer Dwight Newby, the chestnut filly produced a tremendous late run to beat highly fanced VIBES MASTER.