Thursday, April 18, 2024

Bishop takes win in stride


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A WIN is a win!
Even if it comes in controversial circumstances.
But never mind he didn’t past the finish line first, apprentice jockey Antonio Bishop told SUNSPORT he was delighted that his mount Zoom was declared winner of the prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup at the Garrison Savannah yesterday.
Zoom was elevated from second position to first after initial winner Show Me The Money, with Jalon Samuel aboard, was disqualified.
The stewards found the rider “guilty of careless riding” following an objection by the experienced Anderson Trotman, astride the favoured Apostle.
“I feel like if I’m on top of the world, sitting down right now by myself. It’s a lovely feeling. I feel great,” said Bishop.
“To be honest, I would be honoured to win it fair and square, but a win is a win at this present moment, especially in a race like the Gold Cup,” said the 21-year-old former St James Secondary student.
Bishop, who hails from Orange Hill, St James, said he never doubted the ability of Zoom, who went into the race at 12-1 odds.
“I won my first race on this horse and also my first big race on him. I also got another big win on him in the Tanglewood Stakes two years ago on this same day,” he recalled.
Bishop admitted he settled for second position after recognizing that there was some interference coming into the homestretch.
“As we are swinging for home in the bottom of the straight, I saw all the interruption, so I just told myself, just try to stay on for the second and I got the race.
“Unfortunately, I feel sorry for the owners of Show Me The Money,” added Bishop.
Bishop dedicated the victory to his family, supporters, especially the people of Orange Hill, and “most of all, to my boss”.
“All through the week, [Derek Smith] was telling me to go out and enjoy myself and do my best,” he said.
“From the time the gates were opening, [Zoom] was lagging a little and I had to encourage him.
“My boss had told me if he wasn’t showing any interest in the five (furlongs), just give him a little tap with the stick and let him know the race still going on.
“Actually, I wasn’t going to tap him but the boss said to give him a tap and when I gave him a tap, he just exploded and started to go on and I say, ‘It is not time yet, so just settle,’
“When I asked him to run, he gave me everything that he got, and when I got halfway through the straight, the other horses came to him and he just showed the heart he got. He fought them off.”
The jockey said it was an honour to ride for such lovely owners as Gay Smith and Derek Smith and a great trainer such as Edward Walcott Jr.
“Any day, any time, I would ride for these people. Last year, I rode for my boss and came fifth [in the Gold Cup] and he told me that this year, it is time to step up.
“I was the only jockey riding for them this year in the Gold Cup, so I just say I’m going to try my best and I did my best,” he added.


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