Uncle Taf obliges in JROA Trophy
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Having finished second in the recent Superstakes, UNCLE TAF made all impressively to win the annual renewal of the Jamaica Racehorse Owners' Association (JROA) Trophy over 2,000 metres as the 4-5 favourite, at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Installed a 4-5 favourite with his Superstakes jockey Ameth Robles riding for owner/trainer Solomon Shape, UNCLE TAF won the overnight allowance feature by 31⁄4 lengths from 5-1 chance TIMEFORARMS, who was fifth in the Superstakes, while 7-1 shot MIRACLE STAR, sixth in the Superstakes, finished another 11⁄4 lengths third in a field of eight.
Coming from the number one post position, UNCLE TAF led on the rails passing the stands for the first time, three lengths clear of Dane Nelson's mount MIRACLE STAR, who chased him relentlessly into the straight. But after turning for home three lengths clear, UNCLE TAF kept on strongly to win unchallenged, as TIMEFORARMS stayed on well for second.
A four-year-old chestnut gelding by Traditional out of the Star Attitude mare Zaza, UNCLE TAF ticked off his sixth win from 23 career starts with over $7.7 million in stakes.
Sharpe, who said he was confident of victory after that big run in the Superstakes, was particularly pleased with the time returned by UNCLE TAF - 2:06.3, a mere fifth of a second slower than the 2:06.3 clocked by Superstakes winner TYPEWRITER.
"Uncle Taf has been a good servant to us," said Sharpe, who bred the gelding with his father, Owen. "He has shown a particular liking for two turn races, having won the 2013 Governor's Cup (Lotto Classic) over this trip, was second in both the Derby and Superstakes and was back to winning ways over this his favourite trip.
Champion and leading jockey Dane Nelson who booted home five winners on Saturday, could only muster one, the two-year-old debutant SIEMPRE BUENO in the opening race.