Nelson appeals Derby
EDMONTON, Canada, (CMC):
Jamaican jockey Dane Nelson and the connections of his mount in Saturday's CDN $150,000 Canadian Derby, 10-1 longshot Double Bear, have lodged an appeal against the winner of the event, 2-1 choice Chief Know It All, ridden by Barbadian Rico Walcott.
Going a mile and three-eighths in the richest race of the Northlands Park campaign, Kentucky Invader Chief Know It All repelled challenges from 6-5 favourite Trooper John and Double Bear in a controversial stretch battle, which saw the stewards in the end stick with the winner, despite a heated enquiry.
The roan colt collared his three-year-old rivals by a half length in a time of two minutes, 17:06 seconds.
"My horse relaxed nicely the whole way," Walcott said afterwards. "When the other two horses came up on me, he picked up the bit again."
However, the connections of Trooper John and Double Bear, who dead-heated for second, were left fuming at the stewards' decision to overturn an objection following the finish.
Double Bear, with Nelson aboard, posted the early fractions with Captain Will stalking from second and Chief Know It All and Trooper John - ridden by Trinidadian Keishan Balgobin - just off the pace.
In a heated stretch run, the connections of both Double Bear and Trooper John argued that Chief Know It All had repeatedly caused interference.
Double Bear's trainer, Rod Cone, confirmed the planned appeal.
"Chief Know It All clearly came over on us. The judge's ruled otherwise, but I talked with the horse's owner, Hal Veale, and we've agreed to appeal," Cone said.
"We have 48 hours to appeal and that's what we are going to do."
Nelson contended that he had been impeded on a couple of occasions by Walcott and Chief Know It All.
"(Chief Know It All) bumped me several times. He kept coming down on me," said Nelson.
"At the top of the stretch, bang; I was against the rail. Then bang. He hit me again."
Trooper John's trainer, Tim Rycroft, also lodged his strong complaint.
"Chief Know It All cost us the win, too, because he drifted over on to us," he argued. "I thought we had the best horse in the race and I still do."
Walcott's victory marked his fourth in the Derby following wins in 2010 with No Hesitation and in 2013 and 2014 with Broadway Empire Edison, respectively.
Nelson was second past the post for the second straight year, having lost in 2016 to fellow Jamaican Shamaree Muir, who became the youngest jockey to win the Canadian Derby when he produced a tremendous ride aboard favourite Ready Intaglio.
Muir, 21 then, was in his first season outside of Jamaica. He partnered with the Amber Meyaard-trained colt to beat Nelson aboard 13-1 chance, Solve, by three-quarter lengths.