Sunday, April 21, 2024

Walcott opens title defence with triple

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EDMONTON, Canada – Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott started his quest for an unprecedented eighth Northlands Park title in style when he scored with three winners on the season-opening card here Saturday.

The 28-year-old opened his account in race two with favourite Chianti, followed up in race three with 2-1 choice Clarence before also snatching race nine aboard odds-on bet Blue Dancer.

He narrowly missed out on a fourth win in race eight aboard 4-1 choice Serendipity when he was edged by half-length by favourite Pacioretty, ridden by Barbadian counterpart and former multiple-time Northlands champion, Quincy Welch.

Walcott, coming off 94 wins and CAN$1.1 million in earnings last season, continued where he left off by striking success as early as the day’s second event over six furlongs.

He made all the running as he carried five-year-old brown mare Chianti to a 1-1/4 length victory over the three-year-old and upward fillies and mares.

His win in race three in another six-furlong trip was another front-running effort as he guided three-year-old gelding Clarence to a dominant 4-1/4 length victory over the three-year-olds.

Walcott was forced to wait for his third win before finally finding it late on the 10-race card, partnering with six-year-old brown gelding Blue Dancer in yet another gate-to-wire effort, to dismiss the three-year-old and upward by 1-1/2 lengths.

There was also success on the day’s card for the Jamaican pair of Shamaree Muir and Dane Nelson. While Muir took race six over six furlongs with 4-1 chance Gilly Gilly, Nelson scored in race seven, also over six furlongs, with favourite Jax On who he piloted to a commanding 6-3/4 length victory over the three-year-old maidens. (CMC)

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