Michael Bernard’s colt Nipster shattered the champion owner’s top horse Wow Wow’s Triple Crown bid in delivering a 31-1 upset victory in Saturday’s Jamaica St Leger at Caymanas Park.

Ridden from off the pace by Linton Steadman for trainer Gary Subratie, Nipster swept to the front inside the final furlong and won the 10-furlong Classic by a length and a quarter over his stablemate and 1-2 favourite Wow Wow in a fast time of two minutes 06.00.

“It’s a bittersweet moment I must say,” a smiling Bernard said. “I really expected and wanted Wow Wow to win so he could continue on his Triple Crown journey, but it’s a wonderful feeling,” he quickly added after watching his two three-year-olds snatch first and second in the JA$3 million (US$21,000) event.

The 20-1 bet Oneofakind was a further half-length behind in third and the even-money second favourite Mahogany struggled to fourth.

Out of the starting gates in pouring rain, 1000 Guineas and Oaks runner-up Another Affair, one of four Subratie entries, shot to the front with Wow Wow, the 99-1 bet Green Gold Rush and King Arthur (8-1) tracking.

Another Affair quickened to lead down the backstretch by seven lengths followed by the 2019 Champion two-year-old Wow Wow and King Arthur racing as a team. Green Gold Rush was fourth and as they hit the six-furlong marker, Mahogany, who had entered the backstretch in 10th spot, gained rapidly toward the lead and moved into fifth spot.

Nipster was still not among the front six at the half-mile as Another Affair’s lead shrunk to just over two lengths with Wow Wow poised to pounce while King Arthur and Mahogany closed in to challenge.

Wow Wow’s rider Robert Halledeen, anxious to keep the 2000 Guineas winner on the Triple Crown path, flew past Another Affair leaving the three-furlong marker with Mahogany on his heels and Wow Wow held command at the top of the homestretch.

Heading to the eighth pole, Wow Wow still led and appeared to be safely repelling Mahogany’s challenge while Oneofakind -- widest of all -- looked threatening and Nipster suddenly appeared with a sprightly rail run.

In a flash, Nipster collared Wow Wow and moved clear with the ecstatic Steadman standing tall in the saddle even before the finish as the colt logged his fifth win in 14 lifetime starts.

“From half mile out I saw he (Nipster) had a whole heap of gas that could last out and become a winner,” Steadman said after his second St Leger triumph.

For Steadman, who had also won the 2016 St Leger with Bigdaddykool, it was his first time aboard Nipster in a race but developed a connection with the Casual Trick-Nippit bred colt after two exercise gallops aboard him.

“The horse is an easy horse to ride, quiet and very easy to deal with. He is cool and kind and (as long as) a horse is cool and kind that’s a whole heap of horse,” Steadman added.

Nipster clocked the fastest St Leger win since War Zone’s race record 2:05.2 in 1996 while foiling Wow Wow’s Triple Crown bid.

“We are disappointed (for Wow Wow) but I am happy for the owner because he believed in the horse,” was Subratie’s take on Nipster denying Wow Wow the chance at becoming the third Triple Crown champion in four years – after She’s a Maneater (2017) and Supreme Soul (2019) -- at Caymanas Park. 

Former Reggae Boy Jermaine 'Teddy 'Johnson was among three persons shot in central Kingston on Thursday evening.

All three have been hospitalized and are said to be in stable condition.

A woman, who was also among the victims, is believed to be a netball player.

More to come...

 

 

With an eye fixed a sprint-double campaign at what would be her final Olympic Games set for Tokyo next year, two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was encouraged by her performance at the Velocity Fest 4 and 5 meets held at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Cricket commentator David Brooks believes South Africa’s Jacques Kallis does not merit a place on the Sportsmax Zone’s Ultimate Test XI. This, despite the fact that the now-retired South African has scored a mammoth 45 Test centuries and more than 13,000 Test runs in what has been an outstanding career.

According to Brook, who provides cricket commentary on the Guerilla Cricket online portal, Kallis is simply not memorable.

“It’s not just the statistics. We’re thinking about the manner in which players score their runs, and for that reason, I just can’t have Jacques Kallis in there,” Brook said in explaining his reason for eliminating Kallis from the selection pool.

“We talk about players that empty bars, he wasn’t one of them. I can’t remember a single innings. I know that stats are there. I can’t put him in, I’m sorry.”

His comments drew laughter from the panel that included businessman and former Jamaica footballer Chris Dehring and regional cricket umpire Chris Taylor as well as hosts Whittaker and Mariah Ramharack.

Host Lance Whittaker was taken aback by Brooks’ reasoning. “Forty-five Test hundreds!” he remarked incredulously.

However, Brook remained resolute.

“Can’t remember a single one of them,” was his retort. “I may have seen a few of them, I just can’t recall them, and certainly not enjoyable or memorable in any way,” he said while making the case for Pakistan’s Javed Miandad.

“Whereas Javed Miandad, I can recall, playing shots all round the wicket, a genuine entertainer.”

(See Brook’s fill comments below)

Chris Gayle is best known for his power-hitting exploits in all formats of the game.

Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange believes that the decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will provide the clarity the athletes needed even though they will be disappointed.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sports has ordered that both pools at the Independence Park Limited be closed with immediate effect until further notice.

As she prepares for her third campaign at the Jamaica International Badminton tournament that serves off at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston on Thursday, Jamaica’s Tahlia Richardson is not thinking too far ahead.

A number of World Champions from the 2019 World Championships in Doha are reportedly being lined up for the Jamaica International Invitational set for May 2, 2020.

Repairs to the track at the National Stadium in Kingston will commence later this year following the correction to the throwing circle set to get underway this Thursday, February 27.

Cricket West Indies has confirmed that the bowling actions of Jamaica Scorpions’ off-spinners John Campbell and Peat Salmon have been deemed to be illegal and, as such, they have been suspended from bowling in domestic West Indies matches with immediate effect.

A seven-fight Jamaica versus Panama card under the banner of Gloves over Guns programme is scheduled for Saturday, February 29, at the Montego Bay Cricket Club starting at 7:00 pm.

Women’s Cricket in Jamaica got a well-needed boost on Wednesday when the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) announced a multimillion-dollar sponsorship with local firm Pace Electrical Works and Building Contractors.

Rudolph Speid and Dennis Chung have been appointed members of the Board of Directors of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

Having won the DaCosta Cup and Olivier Shield in consecutive years, Clarendon College will have one eye on the elusive Champions Cup when the new schoolboy football season kicks off later this year.

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