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Shes Is Spectacula – Best juvenile in training

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Cham­pi­on train­er John O’Brien is the most en­vi­able man at the cen­tralised venue – San­ta Rosa Park, Ari­ma but on Box­ing Day, his sta­ble did not con­trol the top races as they usu­al­ly do.

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O’Brien sta­ble has been ex­em­plary in the three ma­jor events on Box­ing Day in­clud­ing The St James Stakes and The St. Ann’s Stakes.

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In 2017, the sta­ble struck with Bat­tle Cry and Lead­ing La­dy in the Ju­ve­nile event and last year, it re­peat­ed the dosage when Gen­er­al JN trot­ted up in St James be­fore Lead­ing La­dy blew her field away in the St Ann’s Stakes.

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How­ev­er, the 2018 Box­ing Day card proved very dif­fer­ent with O’Brien sad­dling a soli­tary win­ner in the NL­CB St Ann’s Stakes. The ju­ve­nile which won the Grade Two event was none oth­er than the 1-9 favourite Shes So Spec­tac­u­la. This Ja­maican bred fil­ly was an im­pres­sive win­ner on her de­but when she beat the St James Stakes win­ner Re­gal In­ten­tion by two lengths. On Box­ing Day pun­ters in­stalled the Chevan Ma­haraj owned fil­ly as the favourite as she was bet­ter on as though de­feat was out of the ques­tion. The Mi­a­mi-USA based Car­los Mon­tal­vo who was ex­pect­ed to come to Trinidad to part­ner the daugh­ter of Soul War­rior/Princess Gee­ta did not ar­rive and Cham­pi­on Ap­pren­tice jock­ey Ri­co Her­nan­dez did the steer­ing

From the off Her­nan­dez broke swift­ly from the widest draw and had the fil­ly track­ing the pace set by sta­ble­mate Cloud Dancer and Blue Haven with Dako­ta track­ing the pace in fourth

Go­ing to the far turn Cloud dancer still held sway but Blue Haven and Shes So Spec­tac­u­la were mak­ing up ground on the leader quick­ly

With 500 me­tres left Shes So Spec­tac­u­la had can­tered in­to the lead in the cen­tre of the track and looked to be trav­el­ling twice a good as any­thing else in the field. Cloud Dancer be­gan to come un­der pres­sure as Blue Haven moved in sec­ond with Dako­ta be­ing set alight to make his run at the leader

When the hors­es swung for home the pro­ces­sion had be­gun with Her­nan­dez do­ing pre­cious lit­tle on the cham­pi­on ju­ve­nile. She quick­ly pulled eight lengths clear with her rid­er even urg­ing her to do any­thing. Dako­ta be­gan to run on and stayed on well to be sec­ond to the might­i­ly im­pres­sive win­ner who was 10 ¾ lengths in front at the line. Sen­te­bale ran on for third with At­ta Girl Sil­vy in fourth

The win­ner’s time was 1:23.37 which was faster than that of the boys in the St James Stakes

Galvez push­es Re­gal In­ten­tion to vic­to­ry

In the NL­CB St James, over 1,350 me­tres Re­gal In­ten­tion got the bet­ter of the John O’Brien trained favourite and hith­er­to un­beat­en Ear­ly Bid, which was sent off as the 3/5 favourite. O’Brien had four hors­es en­gaged in the St James Stakes and Ear­ly Bird with Her­nan­dez set off to make all the run­ning. He was tracked by Re­gal In­ten­sion and Maren­go with and Mak­ing Head­lines at the rear

Go­ing to the far turn, Ear­ly Bird still held sway as Galviz asked Re­gal In­ten­tion to go af­ter the leader as Maren­go hoist­ed the white flag. It was now a match race as Ear­ly Bid still held the lead with Re­gal In­ten­tion chal­leng­ing

As the hors­es swung for home Ear­ly Bid still held a half-length ad­van­tage over Re­gal In­ten­tion on which Galviz was push­ing for all he was worth. Sud­den­ly with 200 me­tres left in the event, Ear­ly Bird seem to come un­der pres­sure and Galviz seized the op­por­tu­ni­ty to give Re­gal In­ten­tion a crack of the whip and ask him to go win the race. Re­gal In­ten­tion then ranged up and passed Ear­ly Bird which showed guts and de­ter­mi­na­tion to be a length down at the wire. The win­ner record­ed a time of 1:23.78 for the trip. Mak­ing Head­lines ran on stout­ly to be third with Blue Nav­i­ga­tor back in fourth

A hap­py Wilmer Galviz said, “It was hard work but in the end, he got up. He was al­ways trav­el­ling well but the leader was not giv­ing in and it took his courage and the ex­tra yardage to get the job done.”