By a mere head, Leading Lady won the prestigious Massy United Insurance Trinidad Derby on a sloppy Santa Rosa Park, Arima, track yesterday..
Watched by a large Independence Day holiday crowd, the John O’Brien-trained filly always tracking the leaders in the 2000 metres race for $350,000, was sent into the lead by Mexican-born Florida-based rider Carlos Montalvo, swooping past Valorous and Battle Cry who were having a duel between them at the top of the stretch Run for the Roses.
All this time, jockey Franc Francisco Urbaneta was cheekily creeping up on the leaders with his mount Hello.
And the 25/1 Hello mounted a strong stretch run inside the final 100 metres only just failing to upset the pre-race 3/5 favourite who became the first filly since Pride N Glory in 2008 to win the blue ribald event.
Battle Cry kept on to be just a neck behind Hello with Valorous another 1 1/4 lengths back in fourth in a desperate finish which had the crowd shouting themselves hoarse.
Earlier, in a likewiswe close finish, Stockyard came with a rattle down the stretth to land the co-feature Msassy Remittance Independence Cup run over 1800 metres shifted from the turf to the main track.
President’s Cup winner Whisper Light again set out to make all and appeared to be holding Conquest Bespoke as he did in the President’s race.
But champion jockey Ronald “Tiger” Ali drove Stockyard down the stretch to a 1 1/4 length victory.
It was a good day in the saddle for Ali three winners, all for owner Shivam Mohammed and trainer Harriram “Pepsi” Gobin. Young apprentice Apprentice Rico Hernandez also had a good day with two winning rides.