St Leger shocker - Nipster delivers Classic win at 31-1 odds


St Leger shocker - Nipster delivers Classic win at 31-1 odds

Sunday, September 27, 2020

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The 94th running of the Jamaica St Leger turned out to be a shocker when 31-1 longshot Nipster rolled past 1-2 odds on favourite Wow Wow in the final furlong to win the $3-million event by 1 lengths at Caymanas Park yesterday.

Expectations that Wow Wow, trained by Gary Subratie, and Mahogany, trained by Ian Parsard, were the dominant forces, especially after their preparation races coming into the season's second leg of the Triple Crown. But Wow Wow and Mahogany both showed that 10 furlongs (2,000m) were too much for them as they turned for home in first and second positions, respectively, and could not carry their gallops through.

Nipster, coming off the final bend in sixth position, hugged the inside rails and came nipping in deep stretch to deny his stable companion Wow Wow any possibility of Triple Crown glory.

Oneofakind, under Dane Nelson, also came with a strong run in the straight to earn third place. The final time for the event was an impressive 2:06.0, the fastest time done in the St Leger since 1996 when War Zone set the Stakes record of 2:05.2.

It was Subratie's first success in the Jamaica St Leger, and although he thought that Wow Wow would win he also had some confidence in Nipster.

“I really thought that he had a shot in the race. I never thought that he [ Nipster] would beat Wow Wow, but I was very confident that he was going to finish in the top three,” Subratie said.

For jockey Linton Steadman, it was his second St Leger winner after guiding Bigdaddykool to victory in the event in 2016.

“The race was never that hard. Leaving the half-mile marker, I was very confident that I would get there for the win. Although, at that point Wow Wow and Mahogany looked strong up front, I had plenty in the tank and knowing Nipster, once I ask him up the straight, he gave me his best,” Steadman said.

Breeder and owner of both Nipster and Wow Wow Michael Bernard was also elated with his one-two finish in the St Leger.

Passing the stands for the first time and going around the clubhouse turn, Another Affair (Jerome Innis), another Bernard and Subratie charge, led the field ahead of Green Gold Rush (Tevin Foster) and Wow Wow (Robert Halledeen). Nipster raced among the backmarkers.

Down the backstretch, Another Affair opened up on the field as Wow Wow got into second place before taking over the lead at the three-furlong (600m) point with Mahogany (Omar Walker), who broke badly, going into chase. Nipster began to round horses but raced well off the pace.

Turning for home, Mahogany gave way and with Wow Wow failing to kick on, Nipster came running on in the end for the win.

Nipster is bred by Casual Trick out of the Legal Process mare Nippit.

Subratie earlier won the Chairman's Trophy with Sentient (Anthony Thomas) over seven furlongs (1,400m) to post a double on the 10-race card. Sentient won ahead of Supreme Soul and Action Run in a time of 1:24.4.

Thomas also won aboard Miss Elaine in the third race and Capturemyship in the sixth race for a three-timer to take over the lead in the jockeys' standing. Thomas is now on 47 winners, two more that Dane Nelson on 45 winners. Nelson was winless on the day.

Racing continues today with nine races. First post is at 12:30 pm.

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