AFFIRMATIVE, with Prayven Badrie on board, made the headlines on Monday as he won the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB)-sponsored Gold Cup, at the Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
The six-year-old, trained by Krishna Sahadeo, led for most of the 2,000-metre race to secure victory, despite a late challenge by the pre-race favourite Making Headlines.
Pleasantly Big and Master of War were late scratches, which left six horses in the fray for the Gold Cup crown, including Making Headlines, who won the 2020 edition and was the 1-1 odds-on favourite.
General JN and Regal Intension got out of the blocks quickly but Affirmative lived up to his name with an early move to the front of the pack.
Under cool conditions at Arima, Affirmative maintained his lead, with General JN and Regal Intension starting to fade.
On the final bend, Making Headlines and Wise Guy decided to narrow the gap between themselves and the Affirmative.
In fact, Making Headlines, ridden by Brian Boodramsingh, moved level with Affirmative with less than 100 metres to go.
However, it seemed like Affirmative took umbrage to Making Headlines’ challenge, as he changed gears, in the final 50 metres, to win in two minutes 9.2 seconds, with Making Headlines one-and-a-quarter length behind.
Wise Guy finished third, with Memories, Regal Intension and General JN trailing.
The Gold Cup was the feature on the Arima Race Club (ARC) Race Day 13 programme, the final race of the 2021 season.
Badrie was the most successful jockey on Monday with three wins, while trainer Michael Lutcham had a pair of victories.
The 2022 season is tentatively set to begin on New Year’s Day.