Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hip! Hip! Hopefield!

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You can say what you like about the results of the 31st edition of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup but it was a revelation for the entire entourage of the Christ Church-based Hopefield Stables.
Congratulations are once again in order for Dancin David’s connections of owner Sir David Seale, trainer Liz Deane, Richard Seale, stable manager Pete Trotman, exercise head lad Richard Thorpe, winning jockey Jalon Samuel, stable jockey Anderson Trotman and the entire staff.
The success of Dancin David, who represented the parish of St George in the 1 800-metre feature event, will be savoured for a long time.
On the afternoon of February 11, Dancin David was selected to the Gold Cup’s original 12, but one week later the horse was relegated to Reserve One.
As the clock ticked and time was running out to get in the race, the bad news for Mingun Temple’s connections from the veterinary doctor meant that Dancin David received an opportunity to perform before the thousands that had converged on the Garrison Savannah.
Persistent rains during the latter part of the week made track conditions soft and transformed the event into an open affair.
After starter Mark Batson sent them on the way it took Dancin David 2 minutes, 02.3 seconds to etch his name in history.
Apart from looking well in the parade ring, he travelled best of all in the prevailing conditions. Samuel had him relaxed in the back.
In reviewing how the race unfolded it was clear that Show Me The Money got the jump on Apostle from the gates.
Coming down the home stretch for the first time Apostle (St Joseph) led Show Me The Money (St Michael), Cavaichi (St Andrew), John Brian (St Peter), Zoom (St John), Little Man Arran (St Thomas), Giovedi (St Lucy), Dancin David, Daga (St Philip), Graeme Hill (Bridgetown), Indanger (St James) and Ring Time (Christ Church).
Positions remained unaltered until the three-furlong marker where Show Me The Money stuck his head in front and John Brian quickly challenged for the lead.
Zoom and Giovedi could be seen giving it their all, while Dancin David and Daga had been set alight. John Brian cruised to the lead and brought the field into the home turn a clear leader.
Although at full gallop, he was unable to survive the onslaught of his younger brother, who exploded past him for a four-length victory, proving too much to handle.
John Brian, under jockey Anderson Trotman took second – another brilliant Gold Cup effort.
Zoom gave his rider Antonio Bishop his all but simply found the brothers better on the day.
Daga, ridden by Paul Eddery, closed to take fourth showing signs of returning to form.
Of the others, in order of finish:
• Show Me The Money was given every chance and got tired in the final two furlongs;
• Ring Time closed belatedly from the back;
• Giovedi was nicely positioned in the middle of the pack before moving into a challenging position three furlongs out and eventually tiring along the rail;
• Apostle led but was then pressured three furlongs out and retreated after that;
• Indanger was always a back marker;
• Graeme Hill never acted on the going;
• Little Man Arran got involved at the start but packed it in half-a-mile out.
• Cavaichi chased the leaders early but struggled to keep momentum and faded.
Samuel, who once again displayed his natural talent and confidently delivered on this occasion, was justly rewarded for a beautiful ride.
Have we witnessed the arrival of a new equine star in Dancing David?
Can he exceed the glamour of the great Sandford Prince?
Let’s hope he can!

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