Records and milestones at Caymanas Park over 60 years

George HoSang (right) with colleague Omar Walker
George HoSang (right) with colleague Omar Walker

As the racing community celebrates 60 years of horse racing at Caymanas Park tomorrow, Saturday, August 24, reminds readers of some of the records and milestones achieved at the home of racing in Jamaica. This is part two in the series.

The responses have been coming thick and fast since the publication of the first article on Tuesday last.  is thankful for the various comments and now shares three of these insightful contributions by our readers.

Edward Barnes in his comment pointed out that Azel Cowie was not the first woman to ride a winner at Caymanas but was the first Jamaican woman to achieve that feat. Here are Barnes’ comments.

“Great story on Caymanas Park. Pat Norman out of England was the first female jockey to ride a winner at The Park. She did so with the horse Swiss Silver for trainer Eileen Cliggott defeating Ken Mattis on See and Go in the 1960s. There was a super close race for the jockeys’ championship in 1964 when Winston Ellis won his first title. Entering the last race on the last race day of the year, Ellis and Neville Cousley were tied on 44 wins each. Cousley rode the favourite My Precious and Ellis rode a maiden Darcy an English bred. Ellis won the event and the riding title 45/44.”

Reader Errol Hobson posted the following comment: “Those were indeed pleasant memories. Please note some other records and milestones to remember. Legal Light was the only horse at Caymanas Park to have won eight races straight on two separate occasions. Also, Menudo is the only horse to have won The Red Stripe Superstakes four consecutive years from 1999-2002.”

Chairman of the Jamaica Racing Commission and the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, Clovis Metcalfe in his post asked - how many rides did George HoSang mount upon when he established his record in 1974 of 167 winners in a single racing year? And why all six of Reprieve’s rivals were scratched from the St Leger leaving Reprieve with a walk-over?

The answers to Chairman Metcalfe are as follows. According to the 1974 Racing Year, George HoSang rode 478 times for his 167 winners making it an average of 34.9 per cent.

The following is taken from the 1974 Racing Year: “For the third successive year, George HoSang has totally dominated his contemporaries and this year for the first time he passed the magical figure of 100 winners in a season, setting a new record of 167. When he first headed the list in 1972, he had 99 winners and seemed set to pass that figure in 1973 but a break in racing prevented this certainty. In 1974, however, from his 478 rides, he managed the remarkable percentage of 34.9 and was only out of the frame on 158 rides. Carl Morgan who rode consistently throughout the season had 52 winners, eight more than third-place Charles Hussey. While young Neville Anderson continued to show improvement with 39 winners. Donovan Lindo took fifth position with 31 winners.”

As to Metcalfe’s other question regarding Reprieve, no answer is as yet available.


In the long and glorified history of Caymanas Park, only one jockey has even won the jockeys’ time six. That particular record belongs to Omar Walker who is still riding in peak form as evidenced by his superb ride on Lady Blue last Saturday (August 17). Walker started his historic trek in 2007 and then won four championships in a row. It should be noted that Arthur “Daddy” Jones crowned himself champion jockey nine times but only twice at Caymanas Park, 1959 and 1961.

    1st 2nd 3rd Unplaced Rides % age
1. George HoSang   167 96 57 158 478 34.9
2. Carl Morgan   52 51 50 154 307 16.9
3. Charles Hussey   44 38 32 140 254 17.3
4. Neville Anderson   39 44 48 218 349 11.1
5. Donovan Lindo   31 30 31 128 220 14.1
6. H Matthews   26 24 17 116 183 14.2
7. Emelio Rodriquez   26 19 21 121 187 13.9
24*. Joe Mercer   7 10 1 10 28 25.0
Of special note is that top British jockey Joe Mercer visited Jamaica’s shores in 1974.  Mercer rode 28 times and won on seven occasions.










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