Friday, April 12, 2024

Bajan jockeys for Trinidad challenge


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Seven-time Barbadian champion jockey Anderson Trotman and Rickey Walcott are among six Caribbean riders invited to compete in a United Kingdom versus Caribbean Jockeys Challenge scheduled for Santa Rosa Park, Arima, Trinidad, on November 29.

The other Caribbean riders are Jamaicans Shane Ellis and Dane Nelson and Trinidadians Brian Boodramsingh and Wilmer Galviz. The British-based riders are made up of the same team that will compete a week earlier at the Garrison Savannah in the second edition of the Barbados Winter Jockey Challenge.

The vastly experienced contingent is led by Italian Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori, the British champion jockey in 1994, 1995 and 2004.

Irishman Kieren Fallon, who was the British champion in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003; Jamie Spencer, champion Irish jockey in 2004 and British champion in 2005 and 2007, who shared his last title success with Englishman Seb Saunders, are also part of the touring party, as is Thomas Queally, a champion apprentice in Ireland and Britain in 2000 and 2004.

Irishman Jimmy Fortune, who completes the six-member UK team on this Caribbean mission, is yet to win a championship but has won major races in India, Italy, Ireland, Britain and France.

Even though they are among the best riders in Europe, they will have their hands full with the Barbados team when they clash on November 22.

Retained captain Trotman will once again be looking to repeat last year’s achievement of winning the championship for the home side.

Trotman led from the front, winning the most races of all the jockeys and accumulating the most points to be named Rider Of The Championship.  

Walcott, who missed the challenge through injury, will be looking to make amends for that missed opportunity and to capitalise on his August success of having won the Barbados Derby aboard Voldermort. Antonio Bishop has done what was required all year long and again finds himself riding with the elite.

Antonio Whitehall is also having a very good year, winning quite a few stakes races to regain his position from last year in the side. He had been originally omitted when the first set of names were released to the media.

Whitehall replaces Jalon Samuel, who was originally selected but, surprisingly, will be the reserve jockey for a second year.

Affrie Ward, who enjoyed his best year in the saddle since acquiring his licence, has been rewarded with a position to rub shoulders in the big league.

Antonio Perch’s selection in the local side is justification for his consistency throughout this year.


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