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Mr Skill Escapes The Guardian
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Going wire to wire as usual, the fleet-footed MR SKILL held off the fast-finishing 4-5 favourite, THE GUARDIAN, by three-quarter length to win the Labour Day Trophy high- claiming feature over 1200 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Installed a 5-2 second favourite with customary jockey Shane Ellis riding for owner/trainer Lawrence Freemantle, MR SKILL broke winging from the number-five post position and proceeded to lead on the bridle from SI PUEDO (4-1) and THE GUARDIAN in a field of nine.
He turned for home some five lengths clear of SI PUEDO, and although THE GUARDIAN was catching him fast in the last 100 metres, held on dearly to complete a hat-trick of wins.
This marked MR SKILL's fourth win from five starts this season and his ninth since he was acquired by Freemantle from champion trainer Wayne DaCosta in the middle of last year.
The seven-year-old gelding by Alisios out of Unnatural has now won 19 races from 47 career starts and has now topped the $8 million mark in lifetime earnings. To the surprise of many, no claim was submitted for him, much to the delight of Freemantle.
"I was very confident today, even though everyone was saying he would not escape The Guardian. But the jockey and I knew differently," said Freemantle.
Trainer Gary Subratie and Michael McIntosh shared the honours with two winners, while jockey Richard Mitchell took a double.