Tue | Sep 24, 2019

Dominant Mairs rides five winners, Whitehall wins feature

Published:Sunday | August 18, 2019 | 12:45 AM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (CMC):

Jamaican Richard Mairs was at his brilliant best, riding five winners on the Friday’s seven-race card to create breathing space for himself at the top of the Assiniboia Downs jockeys championship.

Involved in a right race for the title, Mairs separated himself from his rivals by capturing race one with favourite Tigger the Tiger, race three with another favourite Candy Con and race four with punters’ choice Maxi’s Taxi.

He then won the day’s last two races with victories aboard 3-1 bet Walking Solo and 6-1 chance Too Much Gone.

With the outing, Mairs installed himself as the heavy favourite to win the jockey’s title. He has 42 wins, six clear of Barbadian Antonio Whitehall, with another Barbadian, Renaldo Cumberbatch, fourth on 28 wins.

Alex Cruz, the former season leader, is third on 34 wins but will take no further part in the campaign due to injury.

Mairs began the day in dominant fashion when he led every step of the way with dark bay gelding Tigger the Tiger to stun the two-year-old maidens by nine lengths in a five-furlong sprint.

Stretch duel

His second win came over six furlongs, combining with three-year-old gelding Candy Con to edge the three-year-olds and upward by a nose, after winning a stretch duel with Strong Arm, ridden by Jamaican Tyrone Nelson.

Mairs logged his third win of the day going a mile for the three-year-olds and upward, pairing with five-year-old bay gelding Maxi’s Taxi to dominate in a front-running effort and reach the wire four lengths clear.

In contrast in a five-furlong sprint in race six, Mairs brought five-year-old bay gelding Walking Solo with a late run to collar leaders United We Stand and Draymagic and snatch victory by half-length over the three-year-olds and upward.

And he brought the curtain down on a successful day when he piloted another five-year-old gelding, Too Much Gone, to a handsome two and a quarter-length victory over the three-year-olds and upward, after stalking leaders Blazingulch and Papa Al.

Almost unnoticed, Whitehall won the day’s feature – the CAN$30 000 Phil Kives Stakes – making all the running with favourite Langara over a mile to turn back the three-year-old and upward colts and geldings by four and a half lengths in a time of one minute, 40 seconds.

The season winds up on September 8.