The Dane Nelson / Anthony Thomas battle continues
Review of race day – Friday, April 30, 2021Tuesday, May 04, 2021
BY WES MARTIN
THE battle for the 2021 championship rages on with the 2020 joint title-holders Dane Nelson and Anthony Thomas interchanging on the lead with a third of the season completed.
Four race days ago Nelson held a four-win advantage only to see a Thomas blitz erasing it and establishing an ascendancy of three going into this race meeting. The response from Nelson was immediate.
In the opening event over 1300 metres, in form mare Mother Nature, prepared by Lawrence Freemantle, following up on a close second in her previous race was able to dominate rivals in the opening event with Nelson not asking for the 8 ½-length winning margin posted.
The second proved to be a mere formality for maiden filly Atonement (Reyan Lewis) to give conditioner Anthony Nunes the first of his two wins on the day.
The 1300-metre third race provided a very easy victory for the slightly built mare Sweet Medicine (Aaron Chatrie). The light-framed five-year-old progeny of Deputy Glitters, trained by David Lee Sin, shot clear at the distance to emulate the wide margin, 8 ½-length triumph of Mother Nature one hour earlier.
Champion and leading trainer Nunes had his second trip to the winners' enclosure to greet maiden Oldkingcole, winner of the 1100-metre fourth for Nelson's second of three destined on the card for him. The point must be again made that a horse with speed such as Ballatelli, third, the strong second favourite in this race, has to be given the chance to race over a distance of ground as his conformation suggests. There are far too many instances where breeding and adaptability are ignored on the presumption that speed should be used only over the shortest distances.
The Jason DaCosta march to establishing himself as an outstanding conditioner in the cohort of local trainers, having done that in the United States with 380 winners in eleven years, was emphasised with the obvious improvement demonstrated by US-bred Eagle One (Dick Cardenas).
It was a 5 ¼-length romp by the US imported colt against a good field in the 1200-metre fifth race. DaCosta has now won 10 races in April – the first month marking the official start of his career locally.
Odds-on favourite Laban (Omar Walker) was outsprinted by nearly four lengths in the 1200-metre sixth event by 10/1 chance Victory Turn (USA). The five-year-old mare was turned out in unbeatable condition by trainer Gary Crawford to give Javaniel Patterson his 13th winning mount of the season.
The 800-metre race seven was a predictable winning sprint for specialist Markofaprince posted by in form trainer Gregory Forsyth on this occasion. The nine-year-old gelding has delivered five victories and three other minor places in its last ten starts running distances on the straight course. This was Thomas's only winning mount from his three rides.
Nelson's three-timer was confirmed in the nightcap, with trainer Johnny Wilmot's Diosa De Oro more than 11 lengths clear of her nearest rival.
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