Dane Nelson makes his move

Sports

Dane Nelson makes his move

Race day review for Saturday, October 17, 2020

BY WES MARTIN
Contributor

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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There were two trophy presentations: the first was the Clifford Stewart Memorial donated by the late trainer Humphrey Stewart in honour of his father, a leading jockey in his day, and the second was the Monica Todd Memorial sponsored by her family to honour the matriarch whose son Richard and grandson Steven are prominent practising trainers.

However, the 10-race card was highlighted by the effort of former champion Dane “Warrior Chief” Nelson to salvage his attempt to win a fourth jockeys' championship, although staring down the barrel of a shock, 15-win lead established over the last four race days by chief protagonist and 2018 champion Anthony Thomas.

Thomas was to draw first blood in the third when veteran conditioner Anthony Subratie's in-form, seven-year-old gelding Smokey Topaz won the third in a romp of over five lengths to justify short-priced favouritism.

There was more pain for the vociferous and especially faithful radio 'call-in shows' supporters of the Warrior Chief when half an hour later the runaway leading reinsman landed a double by demonstrating consummate riding skills to get the Wayne DaCosta-trained Secret Traveller home by a neck.

Nelson's mount in the opening event ended lame much to the frustration of backers of the Anthony Nunes-trained San Siro with the race going to Casual Peach (Dick Cardenas) at odds of 5/1 for second generation trainer Michael Marlowe.

More disappointment was in store for Nelson as his well-fancied mount Itsabeautifulday could only manage fifth in the second, won by the Shane Ellis-ridden, Prince McDonald-trained, odds-on favourite Ashley's Glory.

Relief for the now panicked Nelson fan club came in the fifth when Donovan Plummer's General Mubaraak won its second race in an inconsistent 39-race career. The fact of the matter is that even the most optimistic Nelson sycophant could not feel confident to predict what would unfold in the next two hours.

In the sixth, Spencer Chung's improving four-year-old filly Truly Amazing lived up to her name as she stumbled badly out of the gates but regained balance quickly, which was clearly attributable to skills of Nelson, to win by over two lengths.

The seventh was won by the useful-looking, Nunes-trained juvenile Santorini who responded well to the persuasion of Nelson to beat stubborn front runner Jahsendsblessings (Dick Cardenas) by just over a length.

Chung added a second when Chief of State won the eighth by nearly two lengths for Nelson to complete his much-celebrated, four-timer, giving hope to the fanatical believers. Nelson ended the day on 52 wins with Thomas now on 65 and still favourite with his lead only reduced by two despite this spectacular response by Nelson.

The ninth and penultimate event was won by course specialist Burlin (Raddesh Roman) who outstayed 10 rivals to win yet again over the extended circular 1820-metre gallop for trainer Dennis Pryce.

The nightcap was won impressively by the Alford Brown-conditioned filly Adore Brilliance with pilot Linton Steadman having the luxury of stealing glances behind, looking for dangers that did not materialise.

The Training Feat Award is presented to Alford Brown for the performance of Adore Brilliance, who finished 57 lengths last but one of 10 in the 2000-metre Jamaica Oaks to now delivering the Best Winning Gallop in an unquestioned flawless display on reverting to sprinting 1300 metres. The Jockeyship Award goes unreservedly to Dane Nelson for his incredible skill of keeping Truly Amazing balanced effectively, for her to win her fifth race from only nine career starts.


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