Riding out front
HORSE RACING in Barbados has seen the emergence of a dominant and dynamic duo which looks set to conquer all that lies ahead in the sport of kings.Melrose and Clifton Racing is the name of the operation, jointly owned by Peter Odle and Bruce Bailey.This successful partnership has seen ts thoroughbreds enter the winners’ circle at a rate that must be the envy of all. The horses, formerly based at the Cliff in St John, and Melrose in St Thomas, are now primarily based at the Garrison Savannah, and have taken to their surroundings well.Stylish as it is, this operation’s runners don two sets of silks, with all fillies carrying the colours of co-owner Odle, which are green body, with a red sash, gold sleeves and red cap.On the other hand, all colts and geldings run in the colours of Bailey, which are made up of turquoise body, with white diamonds on front and back, turquoise sleeves, and turquoise cap with white diamonds on top.Signs that this stable was on the up were beginning to show during the first racing season, and during the course of this second season they have materialised.They have been nothing short of unstoppable in the second season, and wasted no time getting their horses in top gear in major races. Operation clean sweep got started on the third race day, as the inseparable fillies, Leave It To Me and Amanyara, ran first and second respectively in the Barbados Fillies Guineas over 1 570 metres.Fourth day and more success was to follow with the colt Rocomadour demolishing the top rated horses 0-145 in the Val Gale Cup over 1 800 metres.Top eventThe Hallway Feeds Three-Year-Old Midsummer Creole Classic over 1 800 metres, was the top event on the fifth race day. In this full field of 12 runners, no answer could be found to the Odle/Bailey double punch, and once again Leave It To Me and Amanyara could not be separated at the head of the field.By now, the silverware was increasing, and the praises coming from all quarters, as the fillies brought more glory to their owners.Rocomadour disappointed in the Queen’s Plate on the sixth day, when finishing fourth, but that was only to be a minor setback. Up next was the crowning moment, and time of great joy for Melrose and Clifton Racing, when on the seventh race day, which was Derby day, Leave It To Me and Amanyara again stole the spotlight, in another one-two finish.The race itself was a spectacle, with the fantastic fillies locked in a drive to the finish, and providing race fans with the kind of duel that makes the sport such a heart stopper. In the end, and for the third time in as many starts, Amanyara had to be content to be in the bridesmaid position, as Leave It To Me just prevailed.Leave It To Me is the top money earner for the year with earnings of $181 285, having won six of nine career starts. Meanwhile, stablemate Amanyara is second on this list with earnings of $138 802. Rocomadour is ninth in the table with earnings of $39 060.It comes as no surprise then, that Melrose and Clifton Racing heads the owners’ tables in monies earned, totalling $281 428 from some 45 starts, and 11 wins. On the last race day, it was the turn of the maidens to further add to the success in the stable, with two runners from the outfit handing in their maiden certificates. Those two were the colt Up The Ante, and the filly Slammin N Jammin.With two race days left to complete the season, expectations could hardly be higher, and surely the Bailey/Odle combination will be looking for fortunes to continue.