If I win it, I win; if I don't win it, I don't win it - Cardenas

Observer writer

Friday, October 12, 2018

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WITH just 18 race days left in the 2018 racing season, the race for the jockeys' championship has become a battle between Anthony Thomas and Dick Cardenas, the 2011 champion jockey.

Thomas, who looked to be the runaway winner a month ago, was slapped with two suspensions totalling five days. Thomas took the two-day suspension and appealed the three-day suspension, which he lost and had to serve the entire five days. This gave Cardenas the opportunity to make inroads in Thomas's lead, and so he did.

On Saturday's 10-race programme, the Panamanian rode a natural five winners from seven rides to close the gap to 11 winners behind Thomas, who is returning from suspension tomorrow.

Cardenas's winners were Peking Cruz, Tricky One, Mr Pantheon, It's A Rap and Hologram Shadow.

Cardenas then rode Necromancer to victory in the final event over five furlongs (1,000m) round, his sixth winner on the day. However, after a lengthy steward's inquiry, Necromancer was disqualified for causing interference.

“The horses were running for me today (Saturday),” said Cardenas. “Unfortunately I got disqualified in one, but riding five winners on a single race programme is a great achievement and I am happy. I will continue to do the hard work and I just want to thank everyone for their support, guidance and encouragement during the season.

“I am not thinking about the jockey's championship. I am rather trying to win as many races as possible. The jockey's championship is not on my mind, but if I win it, I win; if I don't win it, I don't win.

“It would be nice to win my second title, yes, and I would be happy, but again it is not the focus right now. The focus is on winning races and if winning races, gets me there then so be it. If I get the rides I have a chance,” Cardenas said.

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