Horse racing honours were shared evenly at the Garrison Savannah yesterday for the Christmas Season Raceday, the penultimate day of the Barbados Turf Club’s third and final racing season.
The day saw double victories for leading trainer Victor Cheeseman and Edward Walcott Jnr, as well as jockey Jason Leacock.
Extremely talented and easily the most under-used jockey at the Garrison, Leacock rode a spectacular ride aboard race favourite Indian Officer to win the feature event, the Season’s Greetings Handicap.
From the start of the event for three-year-old and older horses, the Joanne Parravicino and Shaun Meil-owned colt was settled at the back of the field until he made his move.
As expected, Captain Sully was put to the front by jockey Jalon Samuel, and they were followed by stablemate Rickoshey, Zaltarr, Roars, Vandross, Bandera Belle and Grace Chapel.
The leader took the field through fractions of 24 seconds for the quarter-mile, 50 for the half-mile, and 116 seconds flat for three-quarters of a mile.
Positions remained unchanged at the mile pole after a reasonable 1:40.1 at that point, with Captain Sully still leading, Vandross and Cabin Boy took closer order while Rickoshey and Zaltarr began to fade. Also in the hunt were Grace Chapel, Bandera Belle.
Captain Sully was the first to turn into the home stretch with Cabin Boy, Vandross and Indian Officer widest on the outside. Captain Sully remained resolute in his quest for the win while Cabin Boy under Reshawn Latchman gave it his all, eventually taking third place.
Once Indian Officer joined the pair he was simply going the best of all and stuck his neck in front when it mattered most to deny Captain Sully the win.
Grace Chapel, ridden by Jonathon Grant, closed well to take fourth.
Jockey Leacock had earlier started the day in smooth fashion as he confidently piloted home the Robert and Mary-Ellen Bourque-owned Jakeandsam in the Mrs Claus Allotted Weights for West Indian-bred two-year-old maidens over 1 100 metres.
Cheeseman improved his chances of capturing his first trainers’ title by taking The Santa Claus Allotted Weights over 1 570 for two-year-old maidens with the Danehill Racing and Maurice Burke-owned Katara.
He closed out the afternoon proceedings in the Christmas Cheer Handicap for three-year-old and older horses with La Boheme.
Fellow trainer Edward Walcott’s double came via Glamorous and King Of The Jungle, both owned by Gay Smith.
The former won the Happy Holiday Handicap for three-year-old and older horses, while the latter was successful in the Jingle Bell Handicap, also for three-year-old and older horses.
The day was not without drama, as jockey Damario Bynoe, who is third in the jockeys’ overall championhip just two wins behind the leader, fell from Cat Spraddle in Race 2.
He made a brief return to the saddle before sitting out the remainder of the day. Cat Spraddle suffered a broken leg and had to be put down.
Bynoe reportedly only suffered soft tissue damage and is expected back in the irons next race day.