Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited today signed a historic agreement establishing themselves, along with Trinidad’s Arima Racetrack, as the first two Caribbean Track and Pool Operators to participate in The Caribbean Pool. 

The Caribbean Pool is a Caribbean inter-island commingling platform that allows for Caribbean Tote operators to bet into each other, thereby creating bigger pools, bigger profits for its member partners, and most importantly, bigger payouts to its punters. 

The Pool will also facilitate greater cooperation and participation between the Caribbean Pool Operators with the aim of growing local racing both regionally and internationally.

 Chairman of SVL Gary Peart outlined what this agreement means for the company. 

“As we have been able to do for many of our other SVL brands, our goal for SVREL in 2022 is to continue our revenue growth through local, regional and international expansion. The Caribbean Pool aligns perfectly with our vision for the company and as such we are happy to participate as lead partner,” he said. 

With the two largest regional racetracks onboard and an expectation that the Barbados Turf Club will sign on as early as January 2022 and the Royal St Lucia Turf Club joining in as soon as they resume racing in 2022, the Caribbean Pool is set to delight Caribbean racing fans. 

Founder of The Caribbean Pool Kimani Robinson of the Kisero Group also reacted to the agreement.

 “Our vision was to create a new and exciting regional simulcast portal that would generate greater returns for the Caribbean track and pool operators as well as their punters,” Robinson added. 

Robinson, who noted that he first discussed the idea with SVL’s Chairman Peart where both men hammered out the constructs of the legal and technical structure required to make the platform a reality, added that regional merging is the future of horse racing in the Caribbean. 

“Regional commingling is the future of Caribbean horse racing. A regionally commingled platform will create greater relevance and awareness for the sport which means greater economic benefits for all. There is no reason why the Caribbean Pool shouldn’t replicate for horse racing what West Indies Cricket did for regional cricket,” he said. 

In terms of awareness, The Caribbean Pool has formed an alliance with the perfect regional media partners, the Caribbean's Home of Champions, SportsMax, who have agreed to become the home of all things Caribbean Pool and Caribbean Horse Racing.  

SportsMax CEO Nicolas Matthews confirmed that “racing fans will be in for a treat as SportsMax beefs up its Caribbean horse racing coverage via the Caribbean Pool. Given our regional strength, especially in the participating Caribbean Pool countries being contemplated and our ambition of providing our audiences with more of what they want, the Caribbean Pool is a perfect fit for us”. 

Along with coverage on their linear channels SportsMax and SportsMax2, SportsMax will include a dedicated channel within the SportsMax App called "SportsMax Racing" that will provide most of the Caribbean Pool’s racing content. 

“Our team has worked side by side with the Kisero Group for months in making the Caribbean Pool a reality,” commented SVREL CEO Lorna Gooden. 

“We are aggressively on a growth path for 2022 and though we have made significant headway in simulcasting our content internationally, we believe that regional growth for us will be faster and more responsive due to existing familiarity,” Gooden added, before expanding further on what the agreement demonstrates. 

“This agreement is a further demonstration of the commitment and drive of the Board and management at Caymanas Park to expand the product offering available to our punters, to promote and establish Caymanas Park as the horseracing mecca of the Caribbean,” she said. 

The Caribbean Pool is set to start in short order and is hoping to get all clearances and approvals granted for a soft launch over the Christmas holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

Torquator Tasso pulled off one of the greatest horse racing shocks by winning the 100th edition of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday.

The German underdog stormed up the outside for a stunning victory in Europe's richest race at odds of 80-1.

Torquator Tasso handled the heavy ground brilliantly under Rene Piechulek, giving trainer Marcel Weiss a sensational success with his first Arc runner to land prize money of €2.9million (£2.5m).

Tarnawa was second ahead of 3-1 favourite Hurricane Lane, with Adayar finishing fourth.

The four-year-old Torquator Tasso became the third German winner of one of the most prestigious races in the world after Star Appeal (1975) and Danedream (2011).

"That was beautiful. He's a very nice horse, he's all heart," said an elated Weiss.

Weiss added: "He's a very strong horse and Rene is a very cool jockey."

Torquator Tasso was bought for only €24,000 in what must go down as one of the most shrewd racing investments in history.

 

 

 Veteran jockey Shane Ellis spectacularly captured his sixth Jamaica Derby on Saturday, rallying the St Leger winner Calculus to a narrow come-from-behind win in the JA$7.5 Million (US$48,900) Classic at Caymanas Park.

The 3-5 favourite Calculus looked beaten as the front runners quickened away from him coming off the final turn, but Ellis strikingly drove Chevan Maharaj’s colt back into contention and scored by a neck for trainer Gary Subratie’s first Derby triumph.

“It was almost a miracle that he got back to the horses there to win this race,” Trinidad and Tobago’s Maharaj said in the winners’ enclosure.

Calculus clocked two minutes 37 and 4/5ths of a second in the 12-furlong trip for the win over the 6-1 bet Billy Whizz. The 2-1 second favourite Further and Beyond was another length and a half back in third.

The 41-1 outsider Iannai Links led the field for the first three furlongs, tracked by a cluster of horses including Calculus on the rail, 30-1 bet Regal and Royal, Billy Whizz and the stablemates Santorini (20-1), and Further and Beyond.

After opening splits of 24.2 and 48.4, a tightly bunched half of the field cruised past the midway point in the race at a six-furlong split of 1:16 and 4/5ths with Further and Beyond, the 2020 Champion two-year-old, edging into the lead ahead of Iannai Links, Calculus, Billy Whizz and a smooth moving 4-1 shot Big Jule in fifth within two lengths of the lead. Santorini and Regal and Royal were also within striking distance as the pace quickened.

Leaving the three-furlong marker, reigning co-champion jockey Dane Nelson whipped up Further and Beyond and shot into a clear lead while Big Jule went in chase. Billy Whizz also made a sharp move toward the lead and the three appeared to have the seemingly one-paced Calculus beaten.

Early in the homestretch, Big Jule failed to quicken and Panama-born jockey Dick Cardenas presented Billy Whizz with a surging outside challenge approaching the eighth pole that sliced into Further and Beyond’s lead. But Ellis – shifting from the inside rail -- suddenly flipped Calculus’s initial mild recovery into a jetting move between the new leader Billy Whizz and Nelson’s tiring colt. A quick change from left to right hand whipping by Ellis finished the job as Calculus swept through a tight space for the win.

“Dick was there on my outside, I had to shake my horse and let him know that the job is not done. I had to bustle my way through and show them that ‘big man a big man,” a smiling Ellis said after adding to previous Derby wins he had with Awesome Power (2011), Typewriter (2012), Relampago (2014), Orpheus (2016) and Supreme Soul two years ago.

Calculus only arrived in Subratie’s barn two months ago from champion trainer Anthony Nunes’s stables after Maharaj purchased the colt from another T&T owner Shivam Maharaj, and the season’s leading trainer in wins praised Ellis’s job in the saddle.

“The passage was getting tight but Shane did his job and that’s what we wanted,” said Subratie, whose 9-5 Derby favourite last year Wow Wow was beaten into sixth position while his other two entries Nipster and Another Affair narrowly lost in second and third to upset winner King Arthur.

Maharaj, who had a T&T Derby win in 2017 with the Jamaica-bred filly Leading Lady, also acclaimed Ellis’s ride that landed the 47-year-old jockey his 22nd Classic triumph.

“At the top of the lane, honestly I thought he was beaten I could not imagine that Shane was able to get some extra out of him to get back to the horses in front. All credit to him for a fantastic ride” said Maharaj, who was winning his second Jamaica Derby in three years, having scored with Triple Crown winner Supreme Soul in 2019.

In the co-feature, Jamaica Oaks, Fillies Guineas winner She’s a Wonder galloped to a predictable win in the JA$3.75 Million (US$24,460) event to give 21-year-old jockey Reyan Lewis and trainer Ian Parsard their first win in the 10-furlong Classic.

She’s a Wonder scored by three lengths as the 1-5 favourite ahead of Amy the Butcher (5-1) and clocked 2:13.3/5ths for her sixth win in 12 lifetime starts.

Veteran jockey Shane Ellis stylishly completed his 21st Classic triumph as the unfancied colt Calculus swept to a commanding upset win in Saturday’s Jamaica St Leger in his first run for trainer Gary Subratie.

The 4-5 favourite Miniature Man was a disappointing sixth as Calculus rebounded from a seventh-place finish in the early June 2000 Guineas to land the Betmakers JA$4.5 Million (US$30,126) St Leger by 6-3/4 lengths. He scored at 7-1 odds and handed Trinidadian owner Chevan Maharaj his second St Leger win at Caymanas Park in three years.

As Ellis surged to his fifth St Leger success and trainer Subratie his second in a row, the 3-2 second favourite Further and Beyond was second and the Fillies Guineas winner She’s a Wonder (9-2) third a further length and a quarter behind.

“Number five is very very sweet,” said Ellis after triumphantly reuniting with Maharaj, whose colt Supreme Soul had given the ex-champion jockey his first Triple Crown victory in 2019.

It was Ellis’s first race aboard Calculus as the colt, bred by Sensational Slam out of the Bernardini mare Trinket, recorded his third win from eight lifetime starts.

Out of the starting gates, the 2000 Guineas champion Miniature Man cruised out of the three-box to lead and went to the mile pole in front, chased by the 93-1 outsider Simba the Lion and last year’s champion two-year-old Further and Beyond.

Ellis made a sharp move forward leaving the six-furlong marker and in a flash had surged from seventh to fourth on the heels of the front running trio.

Calculus and Further and Beyond quickened away from a fading Miniature Man for a duel leaving the half-mile while She’s a Wonder accelerated into a challenging third position coming off the final bend.

Ellis was off the rail as he engaged reigning co-champion jockey Dane Nelson aboard Further and Beyond on his outside while She’s a Wonder darted to the rail for her homestretch challenge.

The battle was brief as Calculus responded to a few left-handed cracks of the whip and pulled clear for the big win that Ellis thinks makes him favourite for the August 6 Jamaica Derby.

“He’ll be the one to beat for sure,” said Ellis, who already has five Derby wins.

Calculus clocked two minutes 08 and 4/5ths of a second for the 10-furlong trip.

“It feels very good, I love my fans because they know when it comes to big races, Shane Ellis is the man,” added the 47-year-old who also won St Leger races aboard Typewriter (2012), Relampago (2014), Marquesas (2018) and Supreme Soul two years ago.

Subratie, who won last year’s St Leger with 31-1 outsider Nipster, only took charge of Calculus – coming from the Anthony Nunes stables -- in recent weeks. The colt arrived at his stables on June 7 when Maharaj purchased him from another T&T owner Shivam Maharaj.

In spite of Calculus’s failure to win from three starts since his Sir Howard Stakes Guineas prep victory in mid-March, Subratie said he anticipated a strong St Leger effort.

“I expected him to run very well because he has beaten those horses, some of them before. He had some issues, it took a couple of weeks to kind of figure it out,” Subratie said, adding that Calculus will be the horse to beat in the Derby. “Most definitely he just showed it.”

The improving gelding Miniature Man recorded a booming win in the Jamaica 2000 Guineas on Saturday for owner Elizabeth DaCosta as her son Jason DaCosta logged his first Classic triumph at Caymanas Park.

Ridden by Panama-born jockey Dick Cardenas, the 2-1 second favourite Miniature Man fought off Nuclear Noon’s stout homestretch challenge to win the JA$3.75 million (US$25,195) Colts and Geldings Guineas by a length and a quarter just an hour after Trainer Ian Parsard also landed his first Classic victory with She’s a Wonder in the 1000 Guineas.

For Jason DaCosta, the Guineas win honoured his late father, 18-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, who died in March.

“It means the world, this one is dedicated to Dad,” said previously US-based DaCosta, who has returned home to take charge of his father’s barn of racehorses.

“This is a special one,” he added, reflecting on a tough year for the DaCosta family. His uncle, Elizabeth DaCosta’s brother Wayne McCulloch, had also passed away the week before Wayne’s death in late March.

Hyped as the absorbing rematch of the May 8 Kingston Graded Stakes dead-heat between Miniature Man and 2020 Champion two-year-old Further and Beyond, the 2000 Guineas was contextually anticlimactic as the 3-5 favourite Further and Beyond hardly threatened and finish third.

Down the backstretch, the 9-2 bet Billy Whizz, one of five DaCosta entries in the six-horse field, set the early 23.2 and 46.3 fractions, chased by 66-1 outsider Regal and Royal and Nuclear Noon (4-1).

The pace quickened leaving the half-mile with Nuclear Noon and Regal and Royal on the heels of the front-running Billy Whizz while Miniature Man gained rapidly in fifth and Further and Beyond looked troubled about eight lengths off the lead in seventh place.

Four-time champion jockey Dane Nelson roused Further and Beyond for a rapid move into third coming off the final bend but the pair of Miniature Man and Nuclear Noon had already escaped into a clear advantage.

That duel was riveting until Miniature Man edged away in deep stretch for the win, his third in a row and fourth in nine lifetime starts. Miniature Man clocked one minute 39 and 3/5ths for the eight-furlong win.

“It was a good race. The horse on the inside (Nuclear Noon) was a tough horse but my horse never gave up,” Cardenas said after his third Jamaica 2000 Guineas victory, adding to Mark My World (2010) and Uncle Donny (2012).

Earlier, She’s a Wonder delivered a flawless win in the 1000 Guineas for Fillies, scoring by 7-1/4 lengths as the 1-2 favourite for jockey Reyan Lewis’s first Classic success.

“It feels good to win a Classic at my age and I am thankful,” the 21-year-old Lewis said.

After a brief tussle with the 99-1 shot Silver Hawk early down the backstretch, She’s a Wonder cruised into a commanding lead and used splits of 23.0 and 45.2 to enter the homestretch more than six lengths in front of the 2-1 second favourite Secret Identity and Sure Curlin (48-1). In the end, the 7-1 bet Amy the Butcher (7-1) snatched second from Secret Identity.

Owned by Henry Pratt and the trainer’s wife Karen Parsard, the unchallenged She’s a Wonder clocked 1:41 and 3/5ths while stretching her winning streak to four races.

“She is a fantastic horse to train. We knew coming in that everything was perfect,” Parsard declared after the unchallenged win.

Last month’s Kingston Stakes dead-heat winners Miniature Man and Further and Beyond clash in a highly anticipated rematch when Jamaica’s Triple Crown Classic Series kicks off with the Guineas races at Caymanas Park this weekend.

Rachael Blackmore hailed "sensational" horse Minella Times after she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National.

Blackmore was the first woman to collect the Ruby Walsh Trophy at Cheltenham last month and claimed another piece of history at an empty Aintree on Saturday.

Jett had been well clear with six fences remaining, but Blackmore and Minella Times surged into the lead on the run back towards the grandstands.

A good jump at the last then helped secure victory by six and a half lengths over 100-1 shot Balko Des Flos.

As ITV Sport highlighted the historic nature of Blackmore's triumph, she replied: "I don't feel male or female at the moment, I don't even feel human. This is just unbelievable."

Trainer Henry de Bromhead remarkably had both Minella Times and Balko Des Flos.

He won the Champion Hurdle, the Champion Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, and Blackmore was in awe of the work he has done with Minella Times.

"I just cannot believe it. [Minella Times] was absolutely sensational today," she said. "What Henry de Bromhead does with these horses, I don't know.

"I'm so lucky to be riding him and I just can't believe we've won the Grand National. It's unbelievable.

"He was just incredible. Jumped beautifully, I was trying to wait as long as I could. When we jumped the last and I asked him for a bit, he was there. It's just incredible."

Jose Mourinho and Gary Lineker led tributes from the football world to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, after his death at the age of 99 was announced.

Tottenham boss Mourinho broke off from answering football questions in a pre-match news conference, saying the loss of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II would be felt far beyond British shores.

The Portuguese head coach said: "I’m sorry, I will answer your question. I just read some sad news about Prince Philip. I would like to express my condolences to the Royal Family and to be very honest, and say I have deep, deep, deep, the utmost respect for the Royal Family.

"I believe that it is not just this country that is going to be sharing these feelings, because I'm not English and I know that many like myself will have the utmost respect."

Mourinho, who has spent much of his coaching career in England, added: "I feel sad for the departure of Prince Philip on a personal basis, because I have only positive feelings for the meaning of the family. I feel very sorry. But unfortunately his life ends and we have to keep going."

Former England striker Lineker, now a renowned broadcaster, wrote on Twitter: "Sorry to hear that Prince Philip has passed away. Served this country over many, many decades. Sincerest condolences to Her Majesty, The Queen and The Royal Family. RIP Prince Philip."

The Premier League said it was "deeply saddened" by the news, adding: "As a mark of respect, players will wear black armbands and there will be a minute's silence before kick-off at all Premier League matches played tonight and across the weekend."

The Football Association, which the duke served as president from 1955 to 1957, said it felt "Immense sadness".

The FA asked royal and government authorities whether football should be allowed to continue this weekend and was given the green light.

"Following the sad passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the FA has sought guidance from the Royal Household and Her Majesty's Government," the FA said. "We can confirm all football fixtures this evening and over the weekend (10-11 April) can continue at the discretion of competition organisers.

"The FA will be recommending that black armbands are worn and a minute's silence is observed before matches are played, including tonight's England women's international fixture in France. As a mark of respect, all flags at Wembley Stadium and St George's Park will fly at half-mast and the Wembley arch will also be lit."

Organisers of Saturday's Grand National said the race would go ahead at Aintree, preceded by a two-minute silence on the course, with "jockeys invited to wear black armbands".

Wimbledon, London's tennis grand slam, said it wished to "convey our deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family".

Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan and former captain of his country's cricket team, wrote on Twitter: "My condolences on the demise of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Britain has lost a wise elder who was imbued with a unique spirit of public service. His role in promoting Pakistan-UK relations will always be remembered."

Prince Philip was a two-time former president of the MCC and a noted cricket enthusiast, playing what was described as an "instrumental" role in introducing trophies for winners of the County Championship.

Ian Watmore, chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: "I'm sure I speak for the entire cricket family when I say how sad I am to hear of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

"His passion for the game we all love was well known and the trophies presented to the men's and women's county champions are a tribute to his dedication to our sport. We owe him a great debt for his support and passion over many decades."

Jamaica’s Minister of Sports Olivia Grange and the State Minister Alando Terrelonge, have expressed sadness at the death of veteran racehorse trainer Wayne DaCosta who died today after battling the Covid-19 virus for the past few weeks.

He was admitted to the hospital in intensive care in February.

A major player in Jamaica’s horseracing industry for more than four decades, DaCosta won 18 trainer’s titles at Caymanas Park, the most ever by any trainer in Jamaica.

His death cast a pall over the country’s sporting fraternity including Minister Grange.

"I join with the family, the racehorse industry, and wider national sports family in mourning the passing of trainer, Wayne DaCosta. We had been praying for his full recovery and I had heard through his son, Jason, that Wayne was regaining his strength; so I was shocked to receive this very sad news today,” Jamaica’s Sports Minister said.

“Wayne DaCosta served horseracing with distinction. His contribution has been mammoth and his impact will continue to be felt for a long time.  Wayne DaCosta is simply one of the greatest trainers that Jamaica has produced and he quite rightly won the trainers’ title a record 18 times. If horseracing is indeed the sport of kings, then Wayne wore his crown with distinction.

“I offer deepest condolences to his widow, his children, and other members of the family.  I ask that we keep them in our prayers at this time.”

Terrelonge, the Member of Parliament for the constituency where Caymanas Park is located in St Catherine, was equally moved by the news.

“The King is dead. But long shall his legacy live,” he said.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of stalwart trainer and 18-time champion racehorse trainer, Wayne DaCosta. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the racing community.

“The sport of kings will never be the same without the majestic contribution of this giant of a man. He gifted us the likes of the unforgettable She’s A Man Eater and Stranger Danger who have decorated and electrified horse-racing in Jamaica.

“The track at Caymanas, located in my constituency of East Central St Catherine, is where I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Mr DaCosta. The constituency will be forever in his debt for helping to provide jobs and a livelihood to many residents.”

He continued: “We mourn this tremendous loss to the racing community but are encouraged that his legacy will endure for generations to come. I join with the family, the racehorse industry, and wider national sports family in mourning the passing of trainer, Wayne DaCosta.”

Veteran Jamaican racehorse trainer Wayne DaCosta, who was hospitalized in February, has died.

For an outsider looking in, it would appear top jockey George HoSang was living the dream, in the 1970s, dominating his sport at a young age had afforded him luxuries many at the time dared only dream of.

On the inside looking out, however, Hosang’s battle to hold steady reins during a tumultuous period, not only for Jamaica's top race track Caymanas Park, but the country on a whole, more closely resembled the stuff of vivid nightmares.

Unfortunately, in addition to being handsomely paid for booting home, at times, a seemingly endless caravan of winners, his rewards also included threats at gunpoint, verbal abuse from the stands, and even kidnapping, as part of painstaking efforts to navigate a system rife with corruption.  In the end, it simply proved too much.  This is his story.

 

#Editor’s note

The following podcast contains brief instances of explicit language.  We, however, felt it appropriate to give HoSang the opportunity to air an unfiltered account of the horrific instances of abuse he suffered during the period and found it to be an integral part of his story.

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