Magical Victory prevails in turf thriller
MAGICAL VICTORY confirmed his booking for the Tanglewood Stakes, which will be run off at the Garrison Savannah, Barbados on March 4, by holding on by a diminishing short-head in taking yesterday’s 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship yesterday at Santa Rosa Park, Arima. The race was billed as a showdown between father John O’Brien, who saddled […]
MAGICAL VICTORY confirmed his booking for the Tanglewood Stakes, which will be run off at the Garrison Savannah, Barbados on March 4, by holding on by a diminishing short-head in taking yesterday’s 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship yesterday at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
The race was billed as a showdown between father John O’Brien, who saddled Magical Victory and son Jake, who was making his trainer’s debut with Academy Award.
However, the race turned out to be a battle between brothers, Kerron Khelawan riding Magical Victory, and Dillon Khelawan on Black Onyx,
At the end of the race, younger brother Kerron aboard the Dr Rupert Indar Jr-owned four-year-old son of Performing Magic/Bitter End scored for trainer (John) O’Brien by a short-head from Black Onyx, Peace N Glory and Academy Award in a time of 1:52.22 to take the $45,000 first prize in the ninth race.
Crowd-pleaser Bigman In Town, who was having his second start on the turf, finished a disappointing ninth in the race, with Jockey Nobel Abrego stating he did not enjoy the surface.
But sent off as the evens favourite, Magical Victory tracked a pedestrian early pace set by early leader Academy Award from Bigman In Town, Peace N Glory and Red River.
Turning up the backstretch, Academy Award continued to lead the way, and heading to the halfway stage, Bigman In Town began to drop away as Magical Victory joined the pace-setting Academy Award, with Black Onyx partnered by Dillon Khelawan menacingly moving toward the leaders.
Magical Victory went ahead of Academy Award nearing the homestretch with Black Onyx posing the biggest threat. Black Onyx joined Magical Victory entering the homestretch, and the two battled to the line, but Magical Victory proved stronger at the end, with Peace N Glory running on to grab third ahead of Academy Award.
Trainer O’Brien, who won the third race with Rebecca’s World went on to take the last three races to shoot clear in the Trainers Championship. His other winners on the card were Takeoneforjoey ridden by Brian Boodramsingh and Caliburn. O’Brien brought down the curtain on the ten-race card with the Hugh Leong-poin owned Caliburn also ridden by Boodramsingh.
However, the 16/1 choice was given a late scare by favourite Wild Shuffle, ridden by Badrie, as the importation came wide to deliver his challenge, and only went down by a head.
It was an exciting day of racing that enticed patrons with some close finishes.
Earlier on the card, jockey Sheldon Rodrigo produced trainer Fred De Freitas’ Princess Grace late up the homestretch to deny Language of Love turning in her maiden certificate in the day’s opener.
And trainer Stephen Jardim was also in the winner’s enclosure with Miss Regina, partnered by apprentice Romario Hernandez, who lost his three-kilo claim after this success in the second race. He will now claim two kilos.
Trainer Harold Chadee also scored a double on the card with three-year-old Discouldrun partnered by Sheldon Rodrigo in the fifth race and Always Ready ridden by Jovika Boodramsingh in the seventh.
Trainer Lester Alexis also scored with Danzig’s Day who won race six on the turf with Romario Hernandez, while Venezuelan Yosener Serrano scored readily abroad trainer Bobby Persad’s I’mmissinghighbury in the fourth race.
Racing action continues on Saturday with a nine-race card.