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Husbands in hunt for first Trinidad Derby


Husbands in hunt for first Trinidad Derby

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Today is the day of reckoning for the Barbadian contingent of jockeys Patrick Husbands, Rickey Walcott and Jalon Samuel as well as the lone local equine star Voldemort as they all converge on the Santa Rosa Park in Arima, Trinidad seeking glory on the 34th day of the Arima Race Course season.

The three reinsmen combined will have 11 rides on the ten-race card, which gets going at 11 a.m. All the attention centres on the ninth race at 4:33 p.m. the TT $500 000 Grade I – NGC CNG Trinidad Derby over 2 000 metres for West Indian bred three-year-olds.

 There, Husbands, who is going after his first Trinidad Derby success, will partner one of the favourites in Momentum, who will race from post position nine. A win in this event for the Rupert Indar Jr colt will be icing on the cake as it will secure for them the 2014 Trinidad Triple Crown.

This would assure champion trainer John O’Brien his fifth Trinidad Derby, having also won this race as an owner in 1986 with Sky Rocket while his last training success in this event came in the 2009 edition with Bruceontheloose.

Husbands’ other ride on the card will see him partner another John O’Brien trained horse Crime Of Passion in the TT $150 000 (BDS$46 284) Grade II – NGC Diamond Stakes over 1 350 metres.

Husbands will arrive in the Land of the Hummingbird in great form as he presently leads the Woodbine jockey championship table with 118 wins for earnings of CAN $7 517 462 (BDS$13.7 million). Once Husbands delivers the goods, it will be a historic achievement for his family as they would have produced the first pair of Barbadian brothers to have conquered the Trinidad Derby, as older brother Simon landed the pattern event in 1997 with Mr Lover Lover.

Walcott will again team up with the Massy United Insurance Barbados Derby winner Voldemort in their quest to add the Trinidadian leg.

Voldemort, who was second in the Barbados Guineas over 1 570 metres, left the island last Friday and will be racing out of gate position number five for champion trainer Victor Cheeseman.

Before the running of the day’s feature, Walcott is scheduled to have outings astride Caspian Sea, Golden Dixieland and Wild Shuffle.

The third Barbadian rider to land a ride in the derby is Jalon Samuel, who will partner Steve Samaroo-owned Freedom Fighter from the number four post.

This gelding will be one of the outsiders in the field, having finished last in the second leg of the Trinidad Triple Crown, the Midsummer Classic, won by Momentum.

He rebounded from that massive 65 lengths defeat to hand in his maiden certificate next start over 1 300 metres.

Samuel’s other bookings are My Ari, Sea Gold, Galveston and Gold Bead.

Challenor Jones holds the most Trinidad Derby wins by any rider – six and Chris Husbands was the last Bajan to win this race back in 2006 partnering the R Maharaj-owned Sara’s Music.