Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
UNCLE TAF stamped himself as the best native bred two-year-old seen out so far this season, thanks to a decisive victory in the eighth running of the Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy over 1200 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday to be unbeaten in two starts.
Ridden by five-time champion jockey Omar Walker, who celebrated his 600th career win, UNCLE TAF, the 6-5 favourite, ran on strongly approaching the distance to win by impressive spell lengths from the fast-finishing 5-2 chance HOVER CRAFT under leading jockey Dane Nelson.
The 2-1 chance ALISON, who led into the straight after taking over from COUNTRY TRAIN leaving the 600-metre marker, faded into third place, another four lengths away.
The $2.95 million race marked the first in the 2012 renewal of the Supreme Ventures 2-Y-O Series which offers total prize money of $11.7 million. This is supplemented by a $6.5 contribution from Supreme Ventures Limited, including a million-dollar bonus to the owner of the horse good enough to win all three races.
A chestnut gelding by Traditional out of Zaza, UNCLE TAF, who had previously won on his debut over 1100 metres on October 3 after missing the break and running wide into the straight, is owned and bred by the father and son team of Owen and Solomon Sharpe, and trained by Owen.
The Sharpes were happy with the victory and according to Owen, it was expected. "He overcame obstacles to win his first race and we knew that he was something special," said Owen Sharpe.
"He put him on Lasix for this race and with the experience behind him, our only concern was whether he would leave the gates promptly," he added. UNCLE TAF will be back for the Pick-3 Challenge Trophy in another five weeks.
Meanwhile, the reigning "Horse of the Year' and champion sprinter SAINT CECELIA turned in another smashing performance to win the grade one None Such Sprint Trophy over 1200 metres, humbling the top imported horse MISMYRTLEBOYRICHIE in the process.
Ridden as usual by Shane Ellis, the illustrious six-year-old mare from the stables of Spencer Chung made virtually all to beat the marginal 1-2 favourite "MYRTLE BOY', with Walker up, by 31/4 lengths under top weight of 57.0kg. The Burning Marque - She's On Wheels offspring duly recorded her ninth consecutive win since she was last beaten by MISMYRTLEBOYRICHIE over 1200 metres in June of last year. Trainer Ian Parsard saddled three winners on the card.