Lucky Star storms to Guyana Cup victory
By Avenash Ramzan
A massive crowd at Rising Sun Turf Club went into a frenzy as the sun went down on Sunday, as Lucky Star defied the odds to win the main event of the 13th annual Guyana Cup horse race meet.
With 18-year-old Jockey Ronaldo Appadu on the saddle, Lucky Star pulled off a remarkable run down the homestretch in the one-mile, C Class and Lower event to cart off the Banks DIH Limited-sponsored first prize of US$10,000 and a massive trophy.
Not many had Lucky Star as the frontrunner, given the line-up included Vera’s Finally, the 2017 and 2018 Guyana Cup champion, and Storm Bird, powered by Colin Ross, the jockey who led Vera’s Finally to those two successes.
In the initial exchanges, Storm Bird took the lead, but the chasing pack was hot on his heels. By the halfway stage the gap began to close and it was Lucky Star who pulled away to register what turned out to be a commanding win.
It was the first time a horse from the Cheefoon Racing Stables won the country’s most prestigious horse racing event.
“It feels good to be Guyana Cup champion,” a beaming Appadu said afterwards.
Storm Bird of the Rising Sun Racing Stables had to settle for the second place prize of US$5,000. Shariff Stables’ Settling Star, powered by Jockey Paul Delph, finished third, while Simple Side of the Jagdeo Racing Stables, with Jockey K. Santo on the saddle, took fourth.
Heavy overnight and early morning showers made the track ‘heavy’, but even that couldn’t deter turfites from braving the mud to catch a glimpse of the annual showpiece.
Because of conditions the event understandably started a bit late, and once it got underway, Catholic Boy, owned by S. Kanya, was the first to register a win, topping the J1 Three-Year-Old and Under 1100m race and taking home US$1,500.
Sunday Silencer, owned by R. Baldeo, and Uprising King, owned by K. Ramsaywack, took second and third respectively.
The 1400m BM Soat J2 Classic was won by Gold Again, with Jockey Kevin Paul on saddle, followed by Red Region in second and Mary Ann third.
Prince D, owned by D. Manroop, was first to the pole in the A. Forrester Lumber Yard L Class Cup, staving off a challenge of second place Pickachu and Release the Heat in third. Awesome Banner finished fourth in the 1400m contest.
The 1100m Jumbo Jet G Class Sprint was won by Storm Bird, with TNT and King Arthur taking second and third respectively, while Fresh Dancer of the CP Racing Stables took top honours in the Super Bet L Class Cup, leaving Secret Flyer to settle for second.
The one-mile Movie Towne Guyana Derby Stakes saw Valentina of the Jumble Jet Stables/I. Chattergoon winning the US$5,000 top prize, followed by Isn’t She Perfect of the Mahaicony Racing Stables, Mahaica Star, owned by D. Ramlogan, and Ebony Prince, owned by R. Mitchell, occupying positions second to fourth in that order.
Not This Time of the Shocking Racing Stables took away the US$1,750 top prize in the Rising Sun I Class Classic 1400m event, leaving Gold Again to take second, Mary Ann third and Catch A Glimpse fourth.
The day’s event was coordinated by the Jumbo Jet Thoroughbred Racing Committee in partnership with several corporate partners. Over G$20 million in cash and prizes were on offer.