Houdini’s Magic wins by a neck
HOUDINI’S MAGIC, ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for inform trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes, got up in the nick of time to deny 4-5 favourite PHINEAS by a neck in the three-year-old and up open allowance feature for the Fontainbleu Trophy over 1500 metres at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Held off the early pace in fourth as PHINEAS, coming from the number-one post position, made most from FORCE THE JOUR and then MOM’S STUDENT, HOUDINI’S MAGIC started his winning run on the outside, entering the straight, at which stage, PHINEAS enjoyed a twolength lead.
HOUDINI’S MAGIC, however, soon found his best stride, reeling in topweight PHINEAS within shades of the wire for a narrow win in a field of seven.
Owned by Derrick Brandt and bred by Everglades Farms, the winner, a fouryear-old bay colt by Performing Magic out of Milestone, was notching his third win from seven starts this season, covering the distance in a fairly fast 1:31.2.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Richard Azan-trained three-year-old gelding JAMAI RAJA was even more impressive in winning the three-year-old restricted stakes over the same distance in a very fast 1:30.2, a full second better than the time recorded by HOUDINI’S MAGIC, both running in muddy conditions.
Held together in a prominent position by the apprentice Odean Edwards as stablecompanion RALLY BABY made the early running in a seven-horse field, JAMAI RAJA, a 4-5 favourite, turned for home heads on with highly fancied WILL IN CHARGE on the outside and quickly found another gear on the rails to beat WILL IN CHARGE by 41/2 lengths as the 4-5 favourite.
JAMAI RAJA, who finished a close second to BIGDADDYKOOL in the Lotto Classic for the Governor’s Cup over 2000 metres on May 28, was winning for the second time in a muddy surface since February 13.
Meanwhile, UNBREAKABLE, owned and trained by Steven Todd, came from just off the early pace to win the Cecil C. Charlton Memorial Trophy by 11/2 lengths at odds of 7-2. Ridden by Aaron Chatrie, the consistent five-year-old gelding caught up with long-time leader FORTUNONEHUNDRED a furlong out and won by 11/2 lengths from TITANIC.
The third trophy race on the card for the Monica Todd Memorial Cup provided a runaway win for 3-1 chance DR. TRAIN, ridden by Robert Halledeen for ownertrainer Ian Parsard.
Earlier, female apprentice Natalie Berger notched the second win of her career, this aboard 12-1 chance BURLIN for trainer Paul Hylton in the fourth race over a mile, winning in a driving finish.