Former champion jockey Ricky Jadoo who became the oldest jockey, in the 28 years of racing of the sport locally at the centralised facility at Santa Rosa Park in Arima, to win the Trinidad Derby when he landed the Merlin Samlalsingh-owned and Glenn Mendez-trained Cape Canaveral in 2018, is back in the winner’s enclosure.
The fifty-four-year-old ever-green rider not only won the Derby that year, but he was also inducted into Racing Hall Of Fame at the Jetsam Awards of that year. On Friday last, (New Years Day) he teamed-up the Glenn Mendez trained six-year-old chestnut horse General JN to win the first Graded Event on the Arima Race Club, 2021 racing calendar – The Stakeholder Sian’s Gold Sprint over 1100 metres on the turf track.
Jadoo who is accustomed to re-writing the record book was full of praise for the trainer Glenn Mendez and the thoroughbred General JN.
Jadoo stated, “General JN is a very good horse and though he never raced on the turf, he ran as though he did it before. He was so comfortable. In the race I allowed him to go up to Early Bird at 600 metres from home and he did it so easily. Really, I had a lot of horse under me and he was travelling so well that I knew it was just a matter of time."
He continued, “However, when I asked him to go win the race in the straight, he quickened up nicely and pulled away impressively for a good win. He is a very good horse and now that we know he can go on the true trainer Mendez will no doubt be looking at other options. Mendez knows how to ready horses and I am fortunate to be riding for him. We continue to be successful. At my age, I am happy to land the top races.”
The likeable Jadoo was aboard favourite Juice Man who landed the final legs of local racing’s ‘Triple Crown’ in 2019 when he rode his sixth Derby winner. The racing fraternity then celebrated with Jadoo two years ago at the Jetsam Awards when he was inducted into the Racing "Hall of Fame" at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
During his long and illustrious career, Jadoo has always been sought by owners and trainers alike. From his early days with Mal Lewis down south to Jack Debideen in the Capital city, now to Mendez, Jadoo's cool, quiet and collective, yet confident manner was infectious.
Today, Jadoo commands the respect of all trainers and owners and yet has the admiration of his colleagues of the pigskin. He is the jockey I consider to be one of the best riders at Santa Rosa Park. He has won the championship four times.
One can only look back and remember his brilliant performances aboard the Mendez-trained/Merlin Samlalsingh-owned Top Of The Class and Cape Canaveral.
Jadoo got interested in horses when his father took him to the paddock at Union Park in Marabella.
"I fell in love with horses that day and I knew that was my future," said Jadoo, who in his early days was spent with Lewis before he went to the jockey school for 18 months.
"When I graduated, I rode my first winner Amber Light for Lewis. For 39 years I worked really hard and it has paid off. For that I am thankful. I am proud of what I have achieved."
Jadoo lives with his wife and daughters in San Fernando and gets up at 4 am to be at the track by 5 am.
Hopefully, he will be riding for a few more years.