Major simply marvellous in Gold Cup romp
Report: Barbados, Saturday
Garrison Savannah: Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup 1m 1f, turf, 3yo+
AMERICAN raider, Major Marvel, (Michael Maker/Patrick Husbands), stormed home to a famous victory in the 33rd running of the £64,000 Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup.
The Michael Maker-trained eight-year-old broke smartly from the stalls and sat on the heels of trail-blazing local horse Areutalkintome before hitting the front with over three furlongs to run.
The 7-5 favourite then galloped away from his rivals to win by a comfortable three and a half lengths from the fast finishing Nominee, the hope of Trinidad, with Dashing David, formerly trained by Richard Hannon, a length further back in third.
Major Marvel's triumph marked a first-ever success for a U.S-trained runner in the southern Caribbean's richest and most prestigious race and an international breakthrough for Kenneth Ramsey, his colourful Kentucky-based owner.
Jockey Husbands, a seven-time champion at Toronto's Woodbine racetrack and Barbados' most successful jockey ever, was enjoying his fourth victory in the race, the first coming as a 16-year-old on Vardar in 1990.
He said: "Any victory in the Gold Cup here is huge for a Barbadian jockey. It's like what an American must feel to ride the Kentucky Derby winner. I had ridden Major Marvel before at Woodbine so I knew that he was a relentless galloper and I felt a long way from home that once I hit the front the race would turn into a procession."