MAKING HEADLINES ended the Arima Race Club (ARC) 2020 season with a fourth straight win, but Wise Guy’s quest for a beaver-trick of victories was halted by arch-rival Bella Riva at the Santa Rosa Park, Arima yesterday.
At the ARC’s Race Day 22, Making Headlines claimed the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB)-sponsored Gold Cup while Bella Riva triumphed in the NLCB TT Breeders Classic.
Making Headlines entered the Gold Cup on a three-race win-streak, but it was Affirmative who set the pace early, under sunny conditions, at the Santa Rosa facility.
Juice Man and Memories kept tabs on Affirmative, with General JN and Making Headlines biding their time in the middle of the pack.
Memories faded when the pressure was turned up, as Master of War took matters in his own hands and moved to the front.
However, on the final bend, in this 2,000-metre race, General JN, from the outside, took the lead, with Master of War fighting valiantly to regain the ascendancy.
There was a dramatic twist as Making Headlines, ridden by Brian Boodramsingh and trained by John O’Brien, saw a gap between General JN and Master of War and slipped through, with 200 metres to go, to emerge victorious in two minutes 5.1 seconds.
The Breeders Cup was a straight shoot-out between Wise Guy, the Triple Crown champ, and Bella Riva – a pair of O’Brien-trained horses.
Wise Guy started quickly in this 1,800-metre race, but Bella Riva, with Boodramsingh aboard, took the lead after the first turn.
The pace slowed during the midway stage but Bella Riva managed to keep Wise Guy in check.
Smooth Sailing joined the leading pack and the tempo rose as Bella Riva and Wise Guy sensed a bit of danger.
Wise Guy, with Kimal Santo aboard, was unable to turn the tables on Bella Riva this time around, as Boodramsingh guided his charge to a comfortable victory.
Boodramsingh and O’Brien were the leading jockey and trainer respectively, with three wins apiece.