Horse Racing

Old but not cold

Phineas at nine still a peformer, as Andre Powell scores after injury break

Observer writer

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

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In a complete turnaround of form, former Invitational Mile winner, Phineas produced a searing late run with some interruptions to win the Emancipation Day Trophy at Caymanas Park on Wednesday last (August 1, 2018).

Dropped to high claiming ($850,000 - $750,000) after a number of encouraging performances at the higher grade, as a fit customer and with a feather to carry at 51.0kg among a field he can more than manage, Phineas romped the Emancipation Day run over six and a half furlongs (1,300m) in a time of 1:21.1, chasing splits of 23:0, 46.3 1:13.4 to land the gamble.

Winter Is Coming, ridden by Gary Richards finished second at odds of 33-1, with Shining Light (Aaron Chatrie) third and Ictus completing the frame with Omar Walker up at odds of 12-1.

Although the win was a powerful one and could be a signal of Phineas returning to the top level, trainer Andrew McDonald believes his charge, at age nine, is more capable in the claiming ranks.

Phineas may race like a three-year-old but at nine years old, I believe he will be more productive in claiming than in the higher grade. However, if I see where he can go back up then I will put him up, but for now I think all that he can manage at the high-claiming level,' McDonald told the Supreme Racing Guide.

Andre Powell, who was winning his first race for a while after recovering from an injury, also chatted with the Supreme Racing Guide after an inspiring ride to get the victory.

Powell said: “I was out for nine months and just coming back from injury and it is just a month that I started riding again; and a victory like this naturally raises my spirit. Going into the race, I did my research on the horse and discovered that he is a horse that takes a lot of riding, so I fixed my mind to ride him for the entire six and a half furlongs. Although coming from last, I was not too worried as this horse ( Phineas) is a strong finisher and I was aware that the speed up would come from back. My earlier instruction from the trainer is that as long as I am five lengths away from the front-runners or stay as close as possible, I will catch them in the drive and it worked out fine.”

Sent off at the attractive odds of 10-1, Phineas left his starting stall last and had to be ridden all the way to keep in touch. That he did by converting what looked to be certain defeat into victory by an increasing three lengths.

After recovering from that poor start, Phineas again ran into trouble as he was blocked in on the rails at the 150-metre pole by the odds on 4-5 favourite Shinning Light, ridden by Aaron Chatrie, who came dashing through the very space where Phineas was heading and had to be checked and started again, while Shining Light went about his business.

After restraining his mount from colliding with the darting Shining Light, Powell then gathered momentum and within the final 50 metres from the line, went past Shining Light on a common canter to win three lengths.

The victory not only registered the first win for Phineas since 2016, it also provided the first win for apprentice Powell since 2017.

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