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Hover Craft Snatches SVL 2-Y-O Stakes With Late Barge
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
CLOSING rapidly from off the pace, HOVER CRAFT, running at odds of 9-2 with outgoing champion jockey Dick Cardenas aboard, barged through in the last 100 metres to win the $4.25m Supreme Ventures Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes by half a length in a driving finish at Caymanas Park yesterday.
The 1600-metre race, which marked its 101st running, was the third and final in the $11.7 million Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) series for native-bred two-year-olds.
Returning champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, who saddled PERFECT NEIGHBOUR to win race two in the series, the $3.6 million Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy ahead of stable companions ROYAL VIBES and HOVER CRAFT, again provided the quinella with HOVER CRAFT now turning the tables on PERFECT NEIGHBOUR (6-1).
ROYAL VIBES, the 8-5 favourite under champion jockey designate Dane Nelson, finished a close fifth, after chasing long-time leader PISCEAN ROCKET (5-2) under former champion Omar Walker to the last furlong.
There was a stewards' inquiry into the running of the race, but the result was allowed to stand.
HOVER CRAFT is owned by DaCosta's wife, Elizabeth, and bred by noted equestrians Mark and Susan Wates. The bay gelding by He'stherealthing out of Royal Pizzazz notched his second win from five career starts, with total stakes of $3.7 million.
Cardenas said his mount was void of early foot, but when he got him going and saw daylight a furlong out, he fairly flew.
"I see where (the) leaders began to tire leaving the furlong pole and my horse was just beginning to find legs," said the quiet Panamanian.
"My only problem was getting (a) clear run with horses coming back, but (the) gap materialised late in the race and I got there in time," he added.
Earlier in the afternoon, the large Boxing Day crowd which wagered an impressive $45 million at the pari-mutuel, saw the 2010 'Horse of the Year' MARK MY WORD (made most) to romp the 50th running of the Harry Jackson Memorial Cup grade-one race over 2400 metres for the second consecutive year, with 'Hall of Famer' Winston Griffiths riding for trainer Richard Azan.
This enabled his owners, Elite Bloodstock Limited, to assume the lead from Michros in the owners' championship, with one race day remaining. Elite has amassed $14.2 million; Michros $13.4 million.