Maneater clips Will in Charge in another stunning finish
IN a stretch duel reminiscent of last year’s thrilling Superstakes finish, SHE’S A MANEATER again got the nod, this time by a neck, on old rival WILL IN CHARGE in the Legal Light Trophy at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Almost rubbing shoulders heading into the clubhouse turn, the two top handicappers were split by SUPERLUMINAL, entering the backstretch, WILL IN CHARGE sitting second and SHE’S A MANEATER stalking from third.
Robert Halledeen soon had enough of pesky SUPERLUMINAL and kicked on the Horse of the Year four and a half furlongs out, but not unnoticed by Omar Walker, who immediately sent SHE’S A MANEATER in chase with reminders from the riding crop, urging the mare to pick up the pace.
WILL IN CHARGE swung into the lane with SHE’S A MANEATER breathing down his neck and eating into his lead, heading him off a furlong and a half out.
Just as he did in November’s Superstakes, Halledeen got the six-year-old gelding to change his lead when challenged, and he responded by rallying to rejoin the mare a furlong out.
Handicaps, however, took toll in the dying stages of the duel, and SHE’S A MANEATER, enjoying a five-pound advantage, had enough gas in the tank to prove stronger, inching away by a neck to win a final time of 1:54.2.
BIGDADDYKOOL finished third in the five-horse field, relegated to being a mere spectator when the pace quickened at the half-mile.
SHE’S A MANEATER won her 18th race from 24 starts, handing Wayne DaCosta and Walker a two-timer after opening the 10-race card with ROJORN DI PILOT at five furlongs round.
Bebeto Harvey and Richard Azan also completed a jockey-trainer double, AXLE ROD and HONEY RYDA, in the fourth and 10th races, respectively. The double was an icebreaker for Harvey, who had literally disappeared from the scene after finishing as runner-up to Walker in the 2016 jockeys’ championship.
Leading riders, apprentices Christopher Mamdeen and Reyan Lewis, also rode two-timers, for the second consecutive racemeet, moving to 39 and 35 winners, respectively, ahead of Walker, who reached 31 astride SHE’S A MANEATER.
Lewis got his 34th win inside the stewards’ room, awarded the sixth event aboard 10-1 outsider, TIMEFORACAT after apprentice Tevin Foster aboard first-past-the-post, 3-5 favourite, LAGUNA POINT, was deemed to have intimidated and taken the path of TIMEFORACAT on the stands’ side, causing Lewis to narrowly lose after switching to mid-track.
Mamdeen won the following event aboard 1-2 favourite MYSTIC MAMA, making all at five furlongs round. Lewis responded with a come-from-behind win with ISOTOPE in the eighth, collaring Mamdeen on COHETE DEL EXITO at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Mamdeen, however, returned the favour with SIR JHUNJHUN WALAH in the ninth, chasing down Lewis aboard DEE DANGER at five furlongs straight to keep his four-win lead intact at the top of the standings heading into Thursday’s Labour Day meet.