Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Title-chasing jockey Omar Walker did his championship prospects a world of good at Caymanas Park yesterday, thanks to a fabulous four-timer on the 10-race programme.
That was a swift response to leading jockey Dane Nelson, who rode three winners on Saturday to race six clear at the top of the standings with 103 wins.
Walker failed to ride a winner on Saturday, but yesterday it was the turn of Nelson to go winless, as Walker (101) tightened the race with five meets remaining in 2013.
Walker, a four-time champion, signalled his intention from the very first race over 1,820 metres by winning aboard 3-5 favourite D'NUGGET, the five-year-old mare responding to a strong ride throughout the last furlong to win in a driving finish from the fast-finishing pair of JAGSOVER (9-1) and TUDOR DYNASTY (7-2).
Walker came back to win the second race over the straight aboard 4-5 favourite WHERE THEM BOYS (made all), then followed up aboard POTCHEEN (2-1) for trainer Ian Parsard in the fifth for open allowance horses over the round five course, before closing out the four-timer with a runaway victory aboard 1-5 favourite HOLOGRAM SHADOW in the eighth race over 1200 metres.
POTCHEEN beat a good field quite easily in the sprint. He chased the fleet-footed AWESOME CAMILLE (6-1) and along with 6-5 favourite EL PODEROSO mounted his challenge on the outside entering the straight, then quickly disposed of both to beat EL PODEROSO by 33/4 lengths in the smart time of 59.1.
Later in the afternoon, MILITARY MAN, running at odds of 13-1 with Shane Ellis riding for trainer Lawrence Freemantle, upstaged the 1-5 favourite RAGING PROSPECT (Nelson up) to win the Jamaica Racehorse Owners' Association Trophy over 2,000 metres by 11/2 lengths.
However, he had to survive a tough stewards' inquiry for taking the ground of long-time leader RAGING PROSPECT (inside) when running down sharply to the rails early in the last furlong.
Ellis had another good priced winner on the card in the Anthony Nunes-trained HIJA DE REINA (12-1), who came through entering the straight to the Sunnyside Stakes 2-y-o race over 1,100 metres by three lengths. The even-money favourite MISS JUANITA was badly hampered by FIFTYONESTORM approaching the half mile and did not finish, while MAGIC CITY lost her rider, Richard Lunan, in the melee.