Nelson in cup-winning form
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Champion jockey Dane Nelson maintained his fine form in feature races yesterday at Caymanas Park, thanks to a decisive win aboard 2-5 favourite PERSIAN BELLE in the Knutsford Park Cup restricted. allowance race for native-bred three-year-olds.
Following his remarkable win under faulty gear aboard 7-1 chance KAL KAL in the Kenneth Mattis OD Trophy last Saturday, Nelson booted home the Patrick Chang-trained PERSIAN BELLE to a decisive length and a quarter victory over 8-5 chance MAMA BLOSSOM in the 1200-metre feature.
PERSIAN BELLE, who raced in the silks of leading owner Wilbert Bagwandeen, chased the TOOTING KAT (10-1) before going through at the halfway stage.
In the straight. PERSIAN BELLE had to be driven out to withstand a feeble challenge from TRAIL BLAZER on the inside leaving the furlong pole and held on well from the fast-finishing MAMA BLOSSOM under leading jockey Omar Walker. Seven ran.
A three-year-old bay gelding by Traditional out of Emerald Belle, PERSIAN BELLE was notching her second win from 11 career starts.
Later in the afternoon, Nelson made it a double aboard the grey SILVER SANDS (2-1) in the eighth race over 1100 metres for maiden three-year-olds, but only after the disqualification of first-past-the-post BEAST, the even-money favourite with Jevanne Erwin aboard.
SILVER SANDS was slowly away and outpaced into the straight as BEAST made virtually all to past the post 3 1/4 lengths clear. SILVER SANDS finished fast on the rails, however, to snatch second in the closing stages.
But following a lengthy stewards' inquiry, BEAST was taken down and placed out of the race for causing interference to highly fancied THEGREATALLIANCE (chased) at the half mile, this causing a chain reaction which resulted in jockey Kerry-Gayle Robinson falling from his mount WINESHA while holding a prominent position.
Having ridden winners in the past two racedays, Nelson pushed his season's tally to 71 - 12 adrift of Omar Walker, who rode one winner in the smart debutant BOY WONDER in the opening race for two-year-olds over 1200 metres.
Trained by Ian Parsard, the chestnut colt by Traditional - Jamaican Dream - made all to win impressively by 14 lengths from BIG BAD LINKS in a time of 1:14.0.
BOY WONDER was one of only two favourites to score on a day when SPECIAL DEGREE (18-1), AMICABLE (13-1) and SUPEM AGO HAPPEN (12-1) scored notable upsets.