Upset Victory For Allegiance In Sir Howard Stakes Triumph

Allegiance - Reyan Lewis
Allegiance - Reyan Lewis

KINGSTON, Jamaica - In a twist at the racetrack, Allegiance, a three-year-old chestnut colt sired by Midnight Hawk out of Princess Geeta, emerged as a formidable contender in the highly anticipated Classic series after his upset victory in the Sir Howard Stakes on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

The Sir Howard Stakes, a pivotal preparatory race for male horses on their journey towards the coveted Triple Crown, challenges non-winners of two races to a sprint of 6 furlongs.

Despite facing scepticism at 9-1 odds in a modest six-horse line-up, Allegiance defied expectations, staging a come-from-behind win. The triumph was a collaborative success for breeders S & D Stables, the ownership of Yardie Stables, the training guidance of Anthony Nunes, the skilled riding of jockey Reyan Lewis, and the attentive care of groom Steven Smith.

The race paid homage to the legendary Sir Howard, a horse renowned for his multiple stakes victories, retiring in 1984 as the record holder for most stakes wins, boasting 10 victories from 28 starts.

Positioned in fourth place early on, Allegiance observed the race unfold as Teflon Don, with jockey Robert Halledeen, took the lead, followed closely by J Spieth under Tevin Foster and World Surprise ridden by Oshane Nugent. As the race progressed to the half-mile turn, Allegiance found himself boxed in with no room to manoeuvre along the inside rails, briefly dropping to the rear.

However, Allegiance soon found his rhythm and commenced a wide move, overtaking his competitors as he approached the final furlong. With a clear path along the inside in the final stretch, Allegiance surged past his adversaries, securing victory ahead of J Spieth and World Surprise. The colt crossed the finish line in a time of 1:16.1.

"I drew number one in the field and so the plan was to get a good break and position him [Allegiance] in striking distance. I knew there were a couple of speed horses in the race, so I just held my horse back a bit and let him build up on his own," Lewis shared.

"When we came into the straight, I just asked him to run and he gave me everything and won. I wasn't worried during the race because I went into the race with a game plan and I executed that well. It was also a good team effort.

"I plan to keep focus and consistent in what I am doing. I am willing to put in the work and from there things will happen. I have not been in the winners' enclosure from January and so I am hoping that this win will be the start of something," Lewis concluded with optimism for future races.


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