She's A Maneater wins St Leger, takes Triple Crown in breath-taking run

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It is the Holy Grail of the sport, it is the most sought-after title in any racing jurisdiction, it is the Triple Crown series of races (1000/2000 Guineas, Jamaica Derby, Jamaica St Leger) and yesterday those three elusive jewels were mined, washed and superbly polished by certainly one of the best fillies to ever grace a racetrack in Jamaica, She's A Maneater. By winning the vaunted Triple Crown, She's A Maneater now joins the royalty of horse racing in Jamaica.

Yes, the 10 furlongs (2,000m) of the 91st Jamaica St Leger had to be run at Caymanas Park, as nothing in this glorious sport can ever be taken for granted, but in the end, She's A Maneater ( Natural Selection Ahwhofah) annihilated her 11 rivals including the colts and the geldings in what must be registered not only as a Triple Crown victory, the 11th at the Park, but as her best performance ever.

Unbeaten this season from her six starts, She's A Maneater literally toyed with the opposition, winning by a continuously extending six and three quarters of a length in a more than respectable time of 2:08.2 minutes.

It was the second Triple Crown achievement for trainer Wayne DaCosta, a first for jockey Omar Walker and a first also for probably the happiest man in Jamaica yesterday, owner/breeder Winston Alan Kong, a veteran of the sport who has made significant investments in racing for over 40 years. DaCosta won his first Triple Crown in 1996 with War Zone.

“The feeling right now is very hard to explain in words but at this moment, I am a very happy man. The feeling is so wonderful when you have a horse that you have bred yourself winning the Triple Crown,” an elated and teary-eyed Kong said.

“My thanks and appreciation to all concerned, the trainer Wayne DaCosta who is the source of this Triple Crown achievement, the jockey Omar Walker who stuck with She's A Maneater throughout and, of course, the really hard work done by the groom to get her ( She's A Maneater) in tip top condition every time she races,” Kong further stated.

DaCosta, after winning his fourth St Leger, said: “First of all, this Triple Crown success is for the owner and breeder, Winton Kong with whom I have shared many years in racing with. He deserves this and I am truly happy for him. Congratulations also to the jockey Omar Walker and the groom Lewisito DaCosta for their part in this glorious success. As for myself, it is a great…great feeling right now. The feeling is really great to have won my second Triple Crown. It was even better than my first one. This performance by She's A Maneater was exhilarating and words can't say how proud I am of this filly. She's is one of a kind and I thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to train such an outstanding thoroughbred.”

For Walker, it was a dream come true.

“This is the top the very top and really and truly I can't ask for anything better. Winning the Triple Crown is a dream and for me that dream became a reality today.

She's A Maneater was in her 'ackee' today (yesterday), she was simply awesome and thanks to the trainer for allowing me to ride her. She is a great racehorse,” Walker said.

It was pretty much an even start as all runners bundled up vying for the lead when the gates were open by starter Michael Simms, but it was Thornhill Miss (Hakeem Pottinger) who took the field of 12 past the stands for the first time with Fearless Samurai (Orlando Foster) tackling on her outside going around the clubhouse turn. She's A Maneater at that stage was settled in mid-pack, with Sotomayor, who was making a serious attempt to be closer to the leaders actually in front of the filly.

Thornhill Miss and Fearless Samurai continued to niggle each other down the backstretch, but as soon as Walker said it was time to create history at the half mile (800m), the brilliant filly surged between the two leaders approaching the final bend and from that point on the Triple Crown was a mere formality. The recorded split times were 25.3 x 51.4 x 1:16.1 x 1:41.1. Market Force (Shane Ellis) was second with Sotomayor (Linton Steadman) third.




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