Graeme Hill wins in style
Spectacularly ridden by wonder boy Kyle Carter, Graeme Hill easily took the 13th edition of the Coolmore “Home Of Champions” Stakes & Trophy on a firm Garrison Savannah track yesterday.
It was a performance that would easily cement his place in the starting line-up for the prestigious Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup just over a month away.
Jockey Carter allowed the son of Graeme Hall out of Lucky Lady Lucy to canter along at the back of the nine-horse field in the (Gr.1.-Bar) race for three-year-old and older horses rated 118-140 (weight for age) and also open to horses rated 117 and below over 1 800 metres.
The Bill and Haley Blevin-owned colt Graeme Hill strode past some tired pace-setters gong towards the two-furlong marker as the original leaders Captain Sully, Lil Man Arran, Kingdora, Giovedi, John Brian and the favourite Daga had all come under pressure.
Entering the homestretch widest of all, Graeme Hill continued to stride out effortlessly for the victory.
This victory was even more significant for his connections and trainer Jonathon Simpson as they eventually finished first, second and fourth in the afternoon feature event.
Giovedi, partnered by Reshaun Latchman, ran on tenaciously to take second, while Indanger under Antonio Bishop ran another good race, closing from way back and getting up in time for third position. Lil Man Arran saw out his race well, finishing fourth with jockey Anderson Trotman astride.
This result could easily see these four joining top creoles Zoom, Apostle and Show Me The Money, who clearly cemented their spots last race day for the big race.
The disappointment of the race was the performance of Daga and John Brian whose entry in the Gold Cup now rests with the jury.
Equally as impressive yesterday was the telling blow delivered by Janaki, owned by the Estate Of Yusuf Mongroo. Under Kenny John, she turned back ten others when taking the supporting feature race, the Diamonds International Montblanc Challenge Sprint Trophy Handicap.
The Boston John-trained filly, who has not been nominated at the first two stages for the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint, defeated five other nominees in that race for four-year-old and older horses rated 75-100 and also open to horses rated 74 and below over 1 100 metres.
Those who felt her fury were Byhookorbycreek, Vitality, Purr Class, Istanbul and Greeley Gone West, with the latter two finishing third and fourth respectively.
Vitality was quickest away from the gates, joined by Desert Orchid and Dark Knight with Janaki stalking in fourth position.
As the tempo quickened going towards the two-furlong pole, Janaki took closer order, while Istanbul ridden by Rico Walcott, Greeley Gone West under Jalon Samuel, and Run Alke Run partnered by Paul Eddery (eventually second) could be seen making rapid headway.
Janaki, by virtue of having stolen first run, romped home for the comfortable victory. It was a performance that could very well make her connections rethink their decision not to nominate her for the Sandy Lane Spa.