Making Challenge even better
Saturday’s Winter Jockey Challenge pitting Barbados against Britain and Ireland at the Garrison Savannah can be deemed a success; however there are some areas for improvement as we look forward to the next two years of this event.
A full complement of riders should be a requirement – either three teams comprising of four members or two teams of six riders. Should the races be a handicap, weight for age or allotted weights? One would want to see the trainers and riders competing on a level playing field which, by extension, would keep the races competitive.
Only races four and six the Hyundai Sante Fe Jockey Challenge for horses rated 55-75 and the Mango Bay Barbados Jockey Challenge for horses rated 30-50 were fair and ideal for the Challenge horses as their weights range from 120 to 133 pounds.
The average weight of the Barbadian riders is approximately 116 pounds compared to that of the visitors at 126 pounds. Challenge races one, three and seven were a distinct disadvantage to all those challenge horses that drew British and Irish riders.
Automatically they incurred a weight increase of 13 pounds or more as the majority of the horses in these races were handicapped to carry 110 pounds. This would have significantly reduced their chances of winning. Having the races as allotted weights would surely alleviate this problem.
Looking at the Challenge races Barbados’ Captain Anderson Trotman got the day started by winning division A of the Vuemont Jockey Challenge for three-year-old maidens over 1 100 metres. He nicely produced L.G Miller III and Susan Miller’s La Boheme for the win. Trotman next won the Mango Bay Barbados Jockey Challenge with Mr Brain-owned Between The Sheiks as the pair made all the running.
Areutalkintome’s wiping away of the field in the feature Grade I Courtesy Breeders’ Classic was the icing on the cake for Trotman and his team. He also recorded a second and third place positions with Lune De Barachois and Rureadytorumble.
Jockey Antonio Bishop got his name on the Jockey’s Challenge sheet when he patiently piloted home the A-Team-owned Stroke Of Luck to his maiden career win in the division B of the Vuemont Barbados Jockey Challenge. He later returned in the feature race to finish second aboard Knight Rider.
Much to the crowd’s delight and a huge applause British and Ireland skipper Kieren Fallon recorded their only visit to the winner’s enclosure when he aggressively guided home David Bynoe gelding Sirius Black in the Hyundai Sante Fe Jockeys’ Challenge for three-year-old horses rated 55-75 over 1 800 metres.
The maestro broke on top but settled his charge coming into the home stretch for the first time at number three; he then pounced on his preys’ leaders Vandross and Stratford Lad, a move that brought tremendous cheers from the crowd as he drove powerfully by for the popular win.
That result also got the nod from adjudicator Jonathon Jones as the Bubba’s Sport Bar ride of the day, with Fallon receiving his trophy from Jones. Anderson Trotman, the Champion Jockey of the challenge also collected a trophy while his winning team was all presented with the winner’s trophy. The awards were compliments of Bubba’s Sports Bar.