The John O'Brien trained three-year-old gelding Apocalypse proved that he is the most improved horse in training when making up five lengths from the top of the straight to come, catch and beat a gallant Affirmative in a driving finish at Santa Rosa Park in Arima, Saturday, day 37 of the Arima Race Club (ARC) programme.
Punters were on the button and made the Anthony Wight owned Apocalypse the favourite after he defeated Juice Man in the Caribbean Champion Stakes six weeks ago.
Stablemate Making Headlines had a great chance to turn the tables with a five kilo pull in the weights and he had the expert assistance of champion jockey elect Brian Boodramsing.
However, it made no difference to the result as Apocalypse was produced with a well-timed run to moor down Affirmative close to home with Making Headline back in third.
When the starter sent the eight-horse field on its way leading apprentice Kimal Santo signalled his intention as he put the Shivam Maharaj owned Affirmative straight into the lead. He was quickly challenged for the top spot by the speedy Trini Aviator and the pair pulled some eight lengths clear of the nearest pursuer Making Headlines.
These were followed by Apocalypse and Streaking Far.
Going to the far-turn Affirmative got the measure of Trini Aviator and he sprinted some four lengths clear of a tiring Trini Aviator as Apocalypse, the Caribbean Champion Stakes winner began to close on the leaders with stablemate Making Headlines.
As the horses swung for home Affirmative had a commanding five-length lead as Making Headline rolled into second with Apocalypse at his girth as the trio pulled well clear of the rest of the field.
With 200 metres left the Harriram Gobimn trained Affirmative still held a three-length lead over Apocalypse which was closing with every stride as Making Headline continue to run on. But, just as he did in the Champion Stakes when he mastered Juice Man close to home, Rico Hernandez brought the gelded son of Nuclear Wayne home with a flourish and in the final stride, he put his head in front of a determined Affirmative who lost no caste in defeat.
Making Headline stayed on well for third with Wots To Report just edging an unlucky Ravishing for fourth.
The winner recorded the time of 1:50.2 for the trip.
The days leading rider was the veteran Nobel Abregho who rode two winners on the six-race card. Abrego was victorious with Locator and Nabawi for former jockey Michael Lutchman who saddled the first winner of his career.
No trainer was able to saddle two winners.