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Stewards Cup to Ron Not Bigman
Champion trainer John O’Brien was a very happy man yesterday, as he saddled four winners on the Arima Race club’s (ARC) eight-race card including the feature Grade Three - Stewards Cup over 1200 metres on the main track at Santa Rosa Park with Thisonesforron.
The Great Friends-owned six-year-old horse was sent off at odds of 7/2 and was well ridden to land the $60,000 first prize cheque.
The Baskaran Bassawh-owned champion Bigman In Town was beaten by a short-head in the pedestrian time of 1:12.57.
The Glenn Mendez-trained and two-times Sprint Champion, Control Unit was sent off as the 7-5 favourite to win the prestigious award but his effort petered out inside the final 150 metres. When the starter sent the eight horse field on their way the Mendez’s pair of Control Unit and Whisper Light were at the head of affairs with Bigman In Town in mid-pack and Thisonesforron closer to last than first.
At the far turn, the Mendez pair still held sway but Kerron Khelawan and Thisonesforron was making stylish headway towards the leaders along with Bigman In town ridden by Nobel Abrego with rank outsider Onefortheroad making headway.
Swinging into the straight, Control Unit still held sway by 1/2 a length from Whisper Light with Thisonesforron waiting to pounce as Abrego moved Bigman In Town widest of all to deliver his challenge.
Inside the final 300m metres, Ricardo Jadoo struck the front with Whisper Light as Control Unit came under pressure, while Thisonesforron was being produced by Khelawan.
Abrego unleashed Bigman In Town to attempt to moor down the opposition. The three-time Horse of the Year came with a sustained challenge and was a short-head down at the line. All kudos must be given to Khelawan for a well judged ride. Whisper Light battled on for third and was half-a-length further back with Onefortheroadback in fourth and Control Unit in fifth. This set up the StewardsCup/Gold Cup double for Thisonesforron which lost it last year.
In the co-feature SFA National Stakes over 1,800 metres on the main track, Saragon was sent off as the 4-5 favourite to defeat stable-mate Dark Treasure and he did after a sustained battle with his battle-hardened stable-mate. Saragon won by a neck in the time of 1:56.25.
In the third event Pauseforacoors gave favourite backer some Christmas cheer when she turned in her maiden certificate in the third event. She recorded a time of 1:04.25 for the trip.
O’Brien continued his winning ways when Shangri La scored at odds of 9/2 in the time of 59.25 seconds.
O’brien landed his fourth winner when Trini Aviator scored impressively by 4 1/2 lengths in the time of 1:39.47 from War Brigade. The days leading trainer was O’Brien who saddled four winners while the days most successful jockey was Brian Boodramsing who rode two winners.
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