Last year's TRINRE Caribbean Champion Stakes could not have had a better finish to a race which generated so much hype and excitement. That race was run on the main track at Santa Rosa Park in Arima on October 26 during Day 33 programme.
The feature event lived up to it's billing with a thrilling finish which saw Apocalypse snatching victory on the line from the hitherto unbeaten Juice Man and the improving Making Headlines. This was the most exciting finish ever seen in the event over 1,800 metres at Santa Rosa Park.
The centralised facility had a great turnout for what many believed would be Juice Man's fifth consecutive win, which would have meant he remained unbeaten and on track to the "Horse of The Year" title.
Also, Ricky Jadoo was riding a crest of a wave after joining the legendary Challenor Jones as the winningest jockey in the Derby history while champion trainer Glenn Mendez landed his fifth success in the prestigious "Run For The Roses".
The silence at the start of the event was deafening as turfites and punters alike looked on quietly pondering the move of Jadoo in the event. This time Jadoo put Juice Man straight to the front but he was attacked by the first runner of the O'Brien relay team General JN.
Going down the back straight, the two principals Juice Man and General JN held sway as they opened a gap of 1 1/2 length on the nearest pursuer Master of War with seven lengths to the fourth horse Caesar Country. Going to the far turn, Juice Man still held sway from General JN in the highly anticipated clash of champions as Master of War was coming under pressure while Making Headline improved along with Apocalypse.
Coming to the corner, the crowd at Santa Rosa Park voiced its approval as
Juice Man still held the upper-hand with General JN unable to get by him and the O'Brien baton was passed to the new threat which appeared in Making Headlines, progressing to challenge for the lead and looked set to go by Juice Man. It was here that Brian Boodramsing unleashed Apocalypse with a well-timed run but getting by the gallant and talented Juice Man was proving a difficult proposition.
However, with 100 metres left in the event, three horses were stretched across the track, eyeballing each other with none giving any quarter.
On the inside was Jadoo and Juice Man with Making Headlines in the centre with Nela Mohammed and widest of all was Apocalypse and Boodramsing which proved to be the anchor leg of the O'Brien quintet. The latter scored by a head to give Boodramsing his third win in four years and owner Anthony Wight, along with trainer O'Brien, their second win in four years.
However, what did not work for O'Brien in the Derby bore fruit. The well prepared O'Brien relay team spoiled the Kanta Persad's Caribbean Champion Stakes party.
The three-year-old Apocalypse superbly ridden by leading rider Boodramsing got up in the final strides to end the unbeaten run of Juice Man and lead home a 1-2-3 for the three-year-olds in last year’s Caribbean Champion Stakes.
In what many considered to be the best edition of the Stakes in decades, an exciting race was on the card but none would have expected the thriller which was seen. Congratulations to O'Brien, Boodramsing and Wight for winning what was considered the "Battle of the Generations" and the "Battle of the Unbeaten Horses".