KINGSTON, Jamaica - THE inaugural staging of the US$125,000 Mouttet Mile had the benefit of an extended period of media exposure. Promoting company Supreme Venture Racing & Entertainment Ltd (SVREL) made a credible and creditable effort to present the ambiance of what a special race day should entail. Therefore, on review, the three-year sponsorship deal should remain intact for SVREL to commence planning for the 2023 renewal.
Obviously feeling the effects of a long season, favourite and Jamaica Derby, 1000 Guineas and Jamaica Cup heroine Atomica (4-5) never travelled well at any stage, and the same can be said of 2000 Guineas and St Leger hero Blue Vinyl (6-1).
Gold Cup winner Mahogany (7-2) tried to escape the pursuing pack to turn for home in front but failed to see out the distance and finished just over two lengths in fourth. In a pleasantly surprising effort, out-and-out sprinter Duke (73/1) was second by just over a length, with Jordon Reign’s (USA) only another half a length away in third.
Winner Excessive Force (7-1) was well handled by Bebeto Harvey to secure a riding double, having won the 1400-metre opener with 40/1 outsider Colorado Ranger for trainer Lincoln Lungs.
For former 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny this historic victory by Excessive Force (USA) must have been especially satisfying. The well-built chestnut was the freshest in the line-up coming off a victory on November 12 and was having only his second outing since undergoing corrective leg surgery earlier this year.
Prior to these two successes, the talented five-year-old Excessive Force (USA) obviously had a problem and was a difficult ride. Specifically, in addition to habitually drifting right in the home stretch, there were occasions when he ran in fits and starts on the backstretch. However, he still managed to win six races from 23 starts before these two latest victories.
Race two over 1500 metres was won by 5-1 shot Ring Charmer (Jordan Barrett) for trainer Patrick Lynch’s first of two wins on the eleven-race programme. The top ten conditioner returned to the winners’ enclosure at the end of the 1300-metre fourth in which Sure Curlin (2-1) was six and a half lengths clear of the field to also confirm double success for 3-kilo claiming jockey Ramon Nepare, who piloted Alexa’s Lodge to win the 1300-metre third for trainer Phillip Lee.
In defence of his third riding title Anthony Thomas, starting on 85 for the season, commenced an assault on the three-win advantage of chief protagonist Dane Dawkins. Trained by Vincent Atkinson, Stomp The Rhythm (7-2), with Thomas demonstrating excellent judgement of pace, outstayed rivals by just over two lengths in the fifth event over 1900 metres.
Half an hour later Thomas aboard Regnant (6-5), saddled by Dennis Thwaites, went in front and never looked likely to be headed over the 1400 metres of race six. The champion reinsman won the 1100-metre seventh event with juvenile débutante Burlap (8-5) for trainer Richard Azan to saddle career winner number 699.
Thomas, the three-timer leaving him on level terms with Dawkins, ran out of luck when his mount Crimson, in the 1820-metre tenth event, fell and he, being injured, was unable to ride Oneofakind in the feature. The race was won in a driving finish by Miniature Man (5-1), saddled by 2022 champion trainer-designate Jason DaCosta.
Although being slow to leave the starting gates for all his eight career starts, Don Vincenzo (Shane Ellis) was able to overcome the deficit to score by nearly two lengths in the 1300-metre eighth event for trainer Errol Subratie.
In race nine, I Realise (Dick Cardenas), saddled by Alford Brown, outbattled nearest rival Power (Dane Dawkins) to be a short head in front when the winning post brought the tremendous struggle to an end, rewarding backers of the winner odds of 6-1.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Philip Feanny for his preparation of Excessive Force (USA) to deliver the Best Winning Gallop, and Bebeto Harvey’s utilisation of experience, confidence and judgement of pace to win the historic richest-ever Caymanas Park race earns him the Jockeyship Award.