Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
This year's derby and St Leger winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR sent his stocks soaring for the November 9 Superstakes with a facile victory in the 54th running of the Governor General's Stakes grade one feature over 2000 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Installed a howling 2-5 favourite with in-form Dick Cardenas in the saddle, the three-year-old colt from the stables of 12-time champion Wayne DaCosta, won by six lengths from his little fancied stable-companion KAL KAL (33-1) and RAGING PROSPECT (9-1), heads on, in a field of seven.
Held off the early pace in fifth for most of the way as stable-companion CLASSY PROSPECT (9-2) and SWEET TRAIL (10-1) disputed the lead for the first half of the race, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR started his winning run leaving the half mile in fourth position.
Coming three-wide with his challenge entering the straight, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR went by the leader CLASSY PROSPECT, under champion jockey Dane Nelson, early in the straight and moved away to win in the fairly good time of 2:06.3.
Cardenas, who rode three winners on the card to move to 63 in third, said:
"He keeps on improving, and with the Superstakes distance ideal for him, I think he is now the horse to beat."
DaCosta, who is on course for a 13th trainers' title and ninth in a row, echoed the sentiments of Cardenas: "He has improved tremendously... . I thought he was a bit too early when he lost to TYPEWRITER over nine furlongs and 25 yards a fortnight ago. With this performance, however, I think we are sitting in the catbird seat ... . But we still have TYPEWRITER to beat," added DaCosta, who saddled three winners on the 10-race programme.
Nelson, who got married last Sunday, also rode three winners in the highly fancied two-year-old ZEEVA, and BORDER LINE (2-1), both for trainer Richard Azan, and PAID OUR DUES at 2-1 for trainer Steven Todd in the three-year-old maiden race.
With leading jockey Omar Walker failing to ride a winner for the past three racedays, Nelson (78 wins), has cut his lead to only six.