Jalon Samuels’ dream of creating history was realized when he galloped first across the finish line, mounted top of Night Prowler, and became the first jockey in local horse racing history to win five Gold Cup titles, surpassing Patrick Husbands with four.
One of the favourites to capture the 39th Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, Samuels delivered a fantastic performance and said the form of Night Prowler, owned by Sir David Seale and trained by Liz Deane was superb and could not have asked for a better showing.
“I didn’t force him to do anything, the pace was a little fast out front and it was an easy setup for him. He just kicked and it was perfect form,” Samuels said.
Finishing behind Samuels were Bodie Tap with jockey Rickey Walcott in the second position and defending champion Celestial Storm commanded by Rasheed Hughes was third overall.
The 25-year-old currently based in North America has a reputation of delivering on the big day and that he did this afternoon to hand Sir David Seale his eighth Gold Cup title.
Earlier in the day, Samuels won the Spa Sprint on Masaru also owned by Seale.
In 2018, Samuels etched his name in horse racing history when he became the second rider behind Jono Jones to capture a hat-trick on Sir Dudley Digges owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey. Prior to that, he won on two consecutive occasions in 2016 and 2017 on Dorsett and his first-ever Gold Cup was captured in 2012 on Dancin David.
An elated Sir David Seale, now 82-years-old said he has been around horse racing from five-years-old and has seen it all and therefore has nothing else to prove.
Seale expressed confidence in Samuels’ ability to deliver. He said, “The jockey told me he is going to win, so I don’t think it was unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, trainer Liz Deane said this is the most emotional Gold Cup for her because of her faith in Night Prowler to win.
She explained that many individuals doubted the ability of Night Prowler who is eight-years-old. But she remained confident he would one day deliver and this was his year having not placed last year.
“This is the most emotional gold cup I have ever been in. Everybody said the horse is too old, he lost last year and was supposed to win and didn’t but he turned up today. It is a group effort, the stable has played a huge part in this. He has a wonderful groom, it is a wonderful team at Hope Field that takes care of this horse,” Deane said.
Adding that preparation was not easy, Deane said, “It was tough with the old guy (Night Prowler) the plus for him is that Jalon came back three weeks before the race and was on him every morning.” (ML)