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BARBADOS - Sandy Lane Gold Cup 2004
Kathir's King - Sunday 07, March-2004
by TYRONE EVELYN
Kathir, with Slade Callaghan aboard, roaring ahead of Feet on Flames in this year's Sandy Lane Gold Cup.
It was fourth time lucky for millionaire owner Eugene Melnyk as his charge Kathir ran away with the 23rd running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup at the Garrison.
Expertly ridden by Canada-based Barbadian jockey Slade Callaghan, Kathir was sent into the lead approaching the two-furlongs marker and ran on strongly in the homestretch for a three-and three-quarter lengths victory in the 1 800 metres event.
It was a popular win for the Canadian -born business magnate, who was first represented in the race with Blacksage Alley in 2001.
He returned again in 2002 and 2003, but had to settle for second position with Warleigh and Zoning respectively.
Melnyk had another entry in the race, Moonshine Hall, which finished a disappointing sixth.
The biggest disappointment, however, was Sharp Impact, which was installed evens favourite.
Owned by Gay Smith and trained by Bill Marshall, the same combination responsible for last year’s winner Thady Quill, Sharp Impact was sent into the lead from the off by jockey Jono Jones but he weakened under pressure two-and-a-half furlongs out.
Another to disappoint was the Trinidad champion Sugar Mike, who was always a backmarker and finished tenth.
Barbadian contenders Feet On Flames, Talkaboutlucky and Storm Hunter, which finished second, third and fourth respectively, performed much better than expected.
Feet On Flames in particular, ran the race of his life to finish second despite taking on the pace-setting Sharp Impact early on.
Trainer Clayton Greenidge must be commended for bringing Feet On Flames in such tip-top shape, while Andy Ward rode a gem of a race on the five-year-old.
Storm Hunter also did well to finish fourth, despite being at a big weight disadvantage with the higher classified horses.
Peace Envoy, winner of the 1999 Gold Cup, was withdrawn minutes before the race, reducing the field to 11.
The time of one minute, 53 and three-fifths seconds was one of the slowest for the 1 800 metres event, and this was probably due to the persistent rains during the past couple of days.
The day’s two other feature races, the Sandy Lane Spa Stakes and Trophy and the Tanglewood Stake and Trophy, went to Peace Angel and Secret Prince respectively.
Peace Angel, handled by Marshall and confidently ridden by Jamar Maughn, was always on the pace in the 1 100 metres event. She picked up the running two furlongs out and always had the better of the second-placed Gone Platinum.
The 2 000 metres Tanglewood provided the day’s best finish, as eventual winner Secret Prince (Ricky Walcott) and Sugar Daddy (Paul Leacock) were involved in a ding-dong tussle for the entire length of the homestretch.
The pair fought it out neck-and-neck in a classic homestretch duel but Walcott was able to get Secret Prince’s nose on the line first.
Another Trinidad entrant to disappoint in the Tanglewood was Carnival Messiah, which was installed favourite but finished down the field.Compliments of the Nation News
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