Action on the track in Nevis on Monday
By Curtis Morton
Caribbean News Now contributor
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -- It was a horse race meet that definitely lived up to its billing, with a massive turn out in terms of the crowd at the Indian Castle race track in Nevis on Monday for the much anticipated annual Dan Bartlette Memorial Stakes.
The main event was race number four. This was where ‘all of the big boys played.’ Six magnificent horses thrilled the crowd with a rare parade around the entire track: Wild Candy (last year’s winner); Lowette’s Hill; Real Magic; Real Aspectation; Mr Big Pepe and Obama. When they passed in front of the main stand area, the huge crowd erupted in spontaneous applause.
It was not too long after that when all six horses burst into a full canter and the red flag and the white flag both went down and the race was well and truly on. For the first couple of furlongs, the horses all remained close to each other but on the first take of the back stretch, Real Magic seized the slenderest of leads. However, Mr Big Pepe, Wild Candy and Obama, all kept him in their sights.
As they took the hill for the final time, Obama slowed up miserably; Real Magic seemed to shift gears, followed closely by Wild Candy. The crowd was screaming to the maximum as Mr Big Pepe seemed out of it -- or was he?
On the final turn, Nevis’s number one jockey, Brem Liburd started to work his magic. He skillfully guided Mr Big Pepe between the other two lead horses -- almost as if he was knitting wool. As the crowd screamed and waved, it was Mr Big Pepe in first place by a clear head length. Mr Big Pepe had made it seven wins in his last seven races and owner Allister Thompson could not contain himself. He gave everyone in sight huge ‘big ups’ and then proceeded to do a couple of jumping jacks for good measure.
The final top placements for the Dan Bartlette Memorial Cup were:
Winner: Mr Big Pepe
2nd Real Magic
3rd Wild Candy
One of the losing horse owners lamented: “If I had Brem aboard my horse, he would have won. I wonder what his price is.”
In an interview after the race, Brem Liburd stated: “I was never worried. I knew once I had them in my sights, I was going to finish them off on the last turn and that I did. The horse responded well.”
An exuberant Allister Thompson noted: “I was always confident. I knew that MR Big PEPE Would Pull it off.”
Asked about plans going forward, Thompson stated that he will rest his horse for the next scheduled event and then after that he would take it “one day at a time.” He also revealed that there was a possibility of the horse going off to Antigua for a meet scheduled for sometime in the not too distant future.
“We will give it some consideration,” he said.
The results of the other races on the five card event were as follows:
1st All Eyes On Me
1st Lady Boss
2nd Emil J
1st Hawley’s Wild Fire
2nd Shaken Shaye
3rd Princess Medleys
1st Sheik Sung
2nd Dark N Chip
President of The Nevis Turf Club, Emmanuel Jeffers thanked the sponsors and the huge gathering for making the day a terrific one. Many of the spectators tarried a while longer, to soak in the sounds of the Ultra Sonic band, which played until late into the night.
Brem Liburd was awarded as the Jockey of the day, to the appreciative and warm applause of the enthusiastic crowd.