Mamma Mia creates small Guineas upset
PHILIP PARCHMENT’s knack of handing champion owner Carlton Watson his first winners in major races continued yesterday when he rallied 6-1 chance MAMMA MIA to outbattle stablemate and 1-5 favourite, THALITA, also owned by Watson, to land the 1000 Guineas by two lengths.
Parchment, who gave Watson his first taste of big-race success in 2019, booting home PRINCESS ANNIE in the Jamaica Oaks, returning in 2020 to stun rivals in the Jamaica Derby, reversed the placings of the Portmore Guineas Trial with enterprising front-running tactics.
Breaking sharply from post-position three in the 12-horse field, MAMMA MIA repelled the trio of BOOTYLICIOUS, ESSENTIAL QUALITY and ACKNOWLEDGEME from out the mile chute before THALITA, who had blown by her a furlong out in the Portmore, cruised down menacingly at the half-mile marker with champion jockey Dane Dawkins.
However, this time around MAMMA MIA had a second wind up her sleeve and stuck to the task along the rail as the Jason DaCosta-trained pair peeled off from BOOTYLICIOUS entering the stretch run.
THALITA appeared stronger coming off the turn and actually pointed a furlong and a half out. Parchment, however, in his signature roughhouse style, roused MAMMA MIA with left-handed whipping to rally on the inside, as she thwarted her stablemate’s challenge to win the mile event in an impressive 1:39.0.
DaCosta’s domination continued with winners on either side of MAMMA MIA’s mild Guineas upset – United States-bred I AM FRED logging a fourth straight win in the Distinctly Irish Trophy for grade one runners at nine furlongs and 25 yards and SHE’S A MIRAGE, who landed the ninth race – a hat trick of winners to close the programme.
Racing continues this afternoon with a 10-race card, featuring the Jamaica 2000 Guineas for colts and geldings. Richard Azan’s MOJITO, last year’s champion two-year-old and unbeaten in his last four races, is the hot ante-post favourite.