Sports

Chance ride leads to Lotto Classic win for Percy Williams Allied Force

Allied Force winner of the 2016 Lotto Classic

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, May 19, 2017

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When the overnight was printed for the 2006 Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup and jockey Percival Percy Williams didn't have a ride, he planned on watching the prestigious 10-furlong (2,000m) event from the stands, but little did he know he would eventually be on the winner, Alliedforce .As fate would have it, Oneil Mullings was originally declared to ride the Noel Ennevor chestnut colt, but Mullings picked up an injury earlier on the programme and was stood down for the rest of the day by medical personnel on duty.

This opened the door for Williams and the 1994 champion jockey made no mistake in guiding Alliedforce to an easy one-and-half-length victory over Ransom Man (Larris Allen), Hidalgo (Brian Harding) and Rampage (Charles Hussey) in that order.

Williams thanked his lucky stars and was grateful for the ride aboard the Donald Williams-owned Alliedforce ( Market Rally Royal Colours by Element).

“I was lucky to get the ride, but it was a really good win. It was a chance ride that I got because the jockey who was declared to ride him got hurt and the trainer called me and asked me to ride the horse and I did and we got lucky and we won.

“The feeling of winning the Governor's Cup was good, I mean it was really wonderful and amazing. It meant a lot to me to win that race. Whenever you win any one of the Stakes races, you always have a stronger feeling than when you win the other races.

“That was the first time I was riding the horse as I was away and I came back like two weeks before the race, but I was grateful for the ride and I am happy with the win and that win, I will cherish for a long time. A chance ride and a win in a Stakes race were just incredible; I enjoyed that really good,” a smiling Williams said.

Williams held Alliedforce just off the pace in fourth at the off as Rampage, Aitchemesbeagle and JCD Slew went for the early lead for most of the way.

Williams, with his wealth of experience, then sent through Alliedforce on the inside rails to challenge Rampage for the lead at the half-mile (800m)and Alliedforce eventually picked up the running at the top of the lane and went his own way, winning in fine style.

“The trainer told me that the horse [ Alliedforce] has good speed and that the other horses in the race can't leave him. And so, I must get a good break, sit close to the leaders, and I was like fourth in the race, still cruising on the backstretch until at the half-mile (800m) I made my move and in the straight, I picked up the lead and he just ran away from them.

“It was a really good performance from him as he was as fit as hands could make him on that day. He responded well and just ran away with it. To be honest, he won much easier than the winning margin suggests,” Williams said.

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