Jockey Nooresh Juglall produced a beautifully judged ride from last into the home straight to win the R150 000 Ardmore Listed Jamaica Handicap, on the least fancied of the Brett Crawford quartet in the opening feature on the first day of the 2020 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival at Kenilworth on Friday.
With Justin Snaith’s yard making a welcome return to form, winning the two previous minor races to break a long drought, and Brett Crawford’s four making up seven of the ten runners in the fillies and mares 2000m feature, it was hardly surprising to see them dominate a thrilling finish.
The only snag for punters – except those that picked up the fact that the winner was the Sporting Post’s best rated runner in the field – was that it was probably in the popular wrong order.
The 16-1 Principessa flew up late under her 52kg bottomweight to nab the free-striding Sleeping Single (5-2) on the line and get the verdict by a head in a time of 124,07 secs.
The 13-10 favourite Kelpie quickened from her deep position, but, while given every chance by Anton Marcus, she was 0,55 lengths short at the line.
Crawford rounded off the quartet with another Ridgemont Racing galloper in Heaven’s Embrace (8-1) in fourth.
The pacemaker Coral Bay fell away to run fifth and just over 5 lengths off.
It was a crackingly well-judged ride by the lightweight Juglall, who left Singapore early last year after a successful stint. He only had five rides over the two days but has certainly paid his air-fare.
Bred and raced by Maine Chance Farms, the winner was registering her first stakes success and took her tally to 3 wins with 4 places from 12 starts for stakes of R257 900.
She was purchased for R325 000 at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
She is a daughter of Maine Chance sire Querari, a Gr1 winning son of Oasis Dream, who has 12 lots on the 2020 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
Principessa is out of the German-bred Pailita (Monsun) a half-sister to Gr1 & Gr2 winners.
Lightly raced, she could have scope to improve further.