Frankie Dettori: captained visitors to an easy win
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Barbados: Team Great Britain Ireland, captained by Frankie Dettori, scored a resounding 102 1⁄2 – 65 1⁄2 points victory over Team Barbados in Wednesday’s Winter Jockeys’ Challenge at the Garrison Savannah.
The event, which took place in brilliant sunshine in front of a record weekday crowd, featured four thrilling contests between the two sides. It had been re-scheduled from last Saturday because of a waterlogged track and was run on soft going. Kieren Fallon did not take part due to illness.
Although Dettori failed to boot home a winner, his team-mates Tom Queally, who was the highest scoring jockey overall, Seb Sanders and Jamie Spencer racked up the points relentlessly throughout the afternoon.
Team Barbados drew first blood in race one, run over 1,100 metres, when Antonio Perch on Boo held off the challenges of Lavani, ridden by Spencer, and Tom Queally’s mount Anskar but the visitors hit back with a vengeance in race two, contested over 1,570 metres, which provided Sanders, aboard Strikawar, with his first winner on Barbados soil.
Queally and Spencer secured a whitewash for their side by filling the minor placings and the visitors consolidated their lead in race three, which provided a riveting spectacle as Queally, aboard Chatter Box, and local star apprentice Affrie Ward, on Watery Moon, battled their way to a dead-heat at the end of the 1,800 metres contest.
Team Barbados struck back in the final event, run over 1,000 metres, when Rickey Walcott booted home Johnny Sad Boy ahead of Dettori’s mount Verden. Spencer’s fourth placing on Devil’s Khandy earned him the honour of being the only jockey to finish in the first four in all of the races.
Jimmy Fortune, who had been unlucky with the book of rides he was allocated in the pre-event draw, only secured one fourth placing. He said: “It would have been nice to have got onto the podium but the team spirit today was fantastic and the track rode pretty well after all the rain.
“It was good to gain revenge for the thrashing that the local jockeys gave us last year. All the lads have had a ball in Barbados and the island’s racing fraternity has looked after us brilliantly.”
Dettori’s team has now moved on to Trinidad where they will do battle against the cream of the region’s jockeys in the Caribbean Jockeys’ Challenge at Santa Rosa Park on Saturday.
Facing them in the three-race series are two crack Jamaican riders Omar Walker, a four-time champion, and dual champion Shane Ellis. Lining up alongside them are Barbadian champion Anderson Trotman and his colleague Rickey Walcott. Trinidad and Tobago jockeys, Brian Boodramsingh, a four-time champion, and Ronald “Tiger” Ali make up the home side.
The draw for mounts has been kind to the visitors and Dettori could treat racegoers to the flying dismount that was denied to Barbadian race fans if Bigman In Town wins the Grade 1 Caribbean Champions Stakes. Spencer rides current Trinidad Triple Crown hero Momentum in this event, which has also attracted Princess Popstar, last year’s Jamaican Horse of the Year.
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