Nation e-Edition

­Jockeys’ title too close to call

­Jockeys’ title too close to call Apprentice Antonio Whitehall leads the jockeys’ championship. (FP)

By Lindon Yarde | Wed, December 05, 2012 - 12:03 AM

The race for this year’s champion jockey title is truly warming up.

Defending and six-time champion Anderson Trotman, by virtue of his two wins last race day, has positioned himself to have a say in the outcome.

This table is headed by apprentice Antonio Whitehall who leads with 26 wins.

Whitehall, who was champion apprentice and jockey of the first season with 16 wins, has maintained the lead throughout despite a modest second season in which he mustered only eight wins over the ten race days.

Whitehall’s greatest achievement was a stellar win aboard the Sir Charles Williams-owned Kendal Moon in the Tanglewood Stakes & Trophy over 2 000 metres.

He has also distinguished himself well at the Santa Rosa Park in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago where he has scored 15 wins. Going into this final season, Whitehall enjoyed a four-win lead over Reshaun Latchman and Jalon Samuel.

Whitehall, the contracted rider for Sir Charles, landed a win on each of the two previous race days and is on the threshold of losing his apprenticeship claim, requiring only five more wins.

Paramount on his mind, however, is maintaining the lead and securing the jockeys’ title. After day two, his lead has been reduced to two wins.

It will not be a walk in the park for Whitehall as jockeys Latchman, Kenny John and Trotman are breathing down his neck.

Latchman took closer order on the leader last race day with three strikes aboard Rahy Stormello in the Armed Units and Flying South in the Barbados Cadet Corps – both condition races over 1 100 metres.

For good measure, he used the 46th Anniversary of Independence Handicap over 1 800 metres to land with Discreetwon.

Having laboured through the second season, Latchman has certainly wasted no time in making his intentions clear. Not only is he a freelance rider but he now rides as a fully fledged journeyman which could create a little breathing space for Whitehall.

Trotman, John and Samuel (based at Calder race course) are locked on 21 wins, respectively, in third position. Of this trio, Trotman sits best, having recorded 19 seconds compared to Samuel’s 11 and John’s eight.

Like Whitehall, Trotman laboured through season two for 11 wins. Based on recent form, he will have to call on his 18 years of experience in the saddle if he is to seriously challenge for another riding title.

John stole honours in the second season with 16 wins that have positioned him with an outside chance to capture the top spot.

He rode two winners on the first day of the current season striking with Southern Lights in Division “A” of the Foster Hall Trophy Handicap.

The Price Is Right also sparked in the Elliot Williams Memorial Juvenile Breeders’ Championship Stakes & Trophy, both races at 1 100 metres.

John’s form has been fantastic but, like Trotman, he is going to have to take the outside to lift the title.

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