Trainer Harold Chadee was indeed a very happy man last Saturday when his Jamaican-bred colt Regal Intension proved favourite backer right when he won the feature event over 1,350 metres at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
Punters made the horse the even-money favourite in the feature Modified Benchmark Handicap for Three-Year-Old Horses and ended the hattrick bid of the Glenn Mendez trained Leonardo Angel with victory by just a head.
Respected as one of the to conditioner in the local sport, Chadee, who saddled Regal Intension to win the first jewel of locals Racing 'Triple Crown,' the Guineas, last season, again demonstrated that he can got the job done.
The Chadee trained four-year-old returned to winning ways when he started tardily but showed his undoubted class to catch and beat Leonardo Angel in a thrilling finish.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Sunday, Chadee said, " When he won the Guineas last year he was fine but he encountered some issues before the Midsummer Classic when he finished fourth and that continued going into the Derby. Because of the closeness of the event we could not get him right. However, we have solved the problem and he has been working well in preparation for this race. Three races back before this I did not think that he would lose but I was disappointed with the ride by the jockey Kimal Santo that day. The ride was suspicious. Regal Intension was too far off the pace. I know that Reggae Rhythm cannot beat Regal Intension from 100 metres to 1800 metres and to lose that race closing so fast, I was really disappointed. Yesterday we gave Reggae Rhythm weight and a beating."
In the lead up to this race, he galloped well and I was confident that he would win. He did not start well but soon made up the lost ground and though pressed by Leonardo Angel he finished strongly and will win many races going over longer distances. He was full of praise for rider Rico Hernandez who he said rode to instruction. Chadee stated," He did not break alertly but he swiftly made up the ground and was travelling well at the far turn and by the 500 metres marker was ready to take over. Once in line for home, Hernandez asked him for his effort and he ran on strongly to repel the challenge and beat Mendez Leonardo Angel. This was indeed a great run and he came from last to first, again."
"There has not been two-turn races for him, so we have to race over shorter and we prepared for it and was successful. The stable is doing very well and I expect that this trend will continue."
This win gave Chadee his 15th winner for the 2020 racing season and placed him only two behind champion trainer John O'Brien.
However, there was something good to take away from the victory of Regal Intension as Chadee stated, " This race alone is what can bring owner back to racing. It is races like these where two good horses are locked in a battle to the line and two good jockeys are riding for all their worth, is what racing is about. Punters and turfites alike want to see good horses and good jockeyship,' he ended.