Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Portfolio Company’s golden return

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Pink was the colour of the day. However it was not the raging 4-5 Gold Cup favourite Jerry The Nipper but his less-fancied stablemate Portfolio Company, which under a stupendous ride by stable jockey Antonio Bishop, held off the charging Cash Equity to win the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup at the historic Garrison Savannah.

At around 6:25 p.m., owner Gay Smith could not hide her emotions as her five-year-old imported, by Kitten’s Joy out of Literation, which was brilliantly prepared by American Hall Of Fame trainer Chad Brown, got home by a neck in one minute, 49.3 seconds. All praises must go to Bishop, who was flawless in his execution, having Portfolio Company positioned just off the leaders.

Spy Novel, under apprentice Teshawn Hazelwood walked through measured fractions of 25.2 seconds for the first quarter, 49.2 passing the half-mile and three-quarters of a mile in 1:13 minutes flat. As the horses travelled along the back stretch, the Coolmore “Home of Champions” Stakes winner Pat’ssewingmachine,ridden by four-time American champion jockey Rocco Bowen, raced into contention from the back.

Meanwhile, Jerry The Nipper,with Patrick Husbands in the irons, had sneaked along the rails to take closer order. Approaching the top of the hill, Portfolio Company closed the gap on Spy Novel, which had come under a ride, while Renaisance Frolic, with jockey Rey Williams up, began throwing serious distress signals.

Swinging into the home stretch, Portfolio Company collared a weakening Spy Novel,at which time, the ash grey Cash Equity,ridden by Rasheed Hughes, loomed ominously from mid-pack to be the major predictor. With Bishop imploring Portfolio Company for his all, he was able to hold off Cash Equity,which recently finished ahead of him at Gulfstream Park on January 27 in a Handicap Race.

Finishing in the third position was Fun in the Sun Racing-owned Pat’ssewingmachine, which rallied without looking like catching the winner, while taking the fourth position was Jerry The Nipper.

It was the fourth success in the southern Caribbean’s most prestigious horse race for Smith, having won with Thady Quillin 2003, Sharp Impact (2006) and Zoom (2011). It was the second success for Bishop, who was aboard Zoom when he won a steward’s upgrade after a successful protest.

Before the large crowd on the good to firm track, Fearsome Foursome-owned seven-year-old bay gelding Undisputed justified favourtism by winning the 21st Tanglewood Stakes and Trophy Stakes over 2 000 metres for West Indian-bred four-year-olds. Established jockey Rico Walcott was only required to keep him clear of trouble and that he did to win from Super Model, ridden by Bishop.

Michal, under apprentice Teshawn Hazelwood, was third, while capturing fourth was outsider Filmores, under jockey Damario Bynoe.

The nightcap other supporting feature was the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint, impressively won by the Jean-Marc Cozier-owned four-year-old colt Zaeed.

Ridden by Canada-based jockey Eswan Flores, he ran by the favourite Dominus for the second year in succession with jockey Williams up. Outsider Zeeko,partnered by Rocco Bowen, finished well to grab third ahead of Brenner Pass with Hughes up. (LY)

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