KINGSTON, Jamaica - With the fifth running of the Diamond Mile just three weeks away, one of the looming questions regarding jockeys and their mounts is which horse will former six-time champion jockey Omar Walker ride in the richest race on the calendar?
Walker has the envious task of choosing between the two top-rated horses in the country, She’s A Maneater and Stranger Danger.
That question has now been answered as in an exclusive interview with the trainer of the two horses in question, Wayne DaCosta, it was substantiated that Walker is going to partner former Triple Crown winner, the five-year-old bay mare, She’s A Maneater in the Diamond Mile.
“Omar had a difficult decision to make and as the stable jockey he was given the first choice and he has chosen to ride She’s A Maneater instead of Stranger Danger in the Diamond Mile on November 9,” said the champion trainer.
Walker has been associated with She’s A Maneater since she was a two-year-old and also during her Triple Crown run as a three-year-old forming a formidable association of jockey and horse. Last year in her attempt to win the Diamond Mile a second time, She’s A Maneater bolted at the start and was declared a late non-starter. That 2018 race was won by Will In Charge, who is not competing this year.
For this season, She’s A Maneater has raced six times, passing the winning post on five occasions, including her latest victory in the Superstakes.
The former champion jockey has also been associated with the American bred three-year-old dark bay gelding Stranger Danger, who is still undefeated in nine starts. Stranger Danger’s last victory was in the Invitational Mile on Superstakes Day (October 6).
In an interview after winning the recent Lasco-sponsored Superstakes in early October, Walker started to show an early preference for She’s A Maneater, claiming she was a changed animal who is performing even better than before.
“This is a different horse nowadays, She’s A Maneater is different, her coat is much better and she is much earlier in her races of late, which gives her something extra. Difficult to believe but She’s A Maneater is at her best right now.
“As to which of the two horses (She’s A Maneater or Stranger Danger), I will ride in the Diamond Mile that is to come,” Walker said at the time of the interview.
With the stable jockey making his decision to ride She’s A Maneater, DaCosta was then left to find a rider for Stranger Danger.
“The Diamond Mile is an important race for all of us in racing, so after much thought and consideration, I have decided that Phillip Parchment will ride Stranger Danger.
“Parchment has been an integral part of the stables for a while now. He is extremely committed, he works hard and I have a lot of confidence in his ability,” DaCosta shared with The Complete Racing Guide.
DaCosta, apart from having She’s A Maneater and Stranger Danger in the Diamond Mile has the possibility of starting four other horses, Drummer Boy, Uncle Frank, Princess Annie and Summer Sun, the latter reaching qualifying status just last week.
“Uncle Frank will be ridden by Oneil Mullings, Princess Annie by Javaniel Patterson and Summer Sun by apprentice Raddesh Roman.
“As for Drummer Boy, no rider has been assigned as yet,” DaCosta informed.