Barbadian Walcott noses out rivals for British Columbia Derby

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sep 10, CMC — Rico Walcott drew on every sinew in his body to defy two rivals in the stretch and propel Chief Know It All to the narrowest of victories in a thrilling conclusion to the CAN $150,000 British Columbia Derby on Saturday at the Hastings Racecourse.
Walcott and the three-year-old, grey colt emerged the winners by a nose ahead of Trooper John, under Trinidad & Tobago jockey Keishan Balgobin, and Riser, ridden by local jockey Aaron Gryder, in the 1,800-metre trip, after all three flashed under the wire together.
It was the third win for Walcott in this event. He previously won aboard Title Contender four years ago and Alert Bay the following year.
This victory continues another memorable season for the ace jockey from Barbados. He will be crowned champion for the seventh time later this week at Northlands Park in the city of Edmonton in the western Canadian province of Alberta, where he regularly rides and has won 86 times for the year — 38 clear of his nearest rival.
“I wanted to be outside of horses because ‘Tino’ (trainer Robertino Diodoro) told me horses were struggling on the inside,” said Walcott.
“Going down the backside, Riser started to get away, so I had to go after him and I had to stay on the rail. When we turned for home, I thought I could get Riser and when I did, I saw Trooper John coming. I didn’t know who won. I was thrilled when the out-rider came after the race and told me I had won.”
Said Diodoro: “What can I say about Rico? I told his agent Bob Fowlis if I couldn’t get him for the Canadian Derby last month at Northlands Park, Chief Know It All wasn’t coming here.”
Walcott had Chief Know It All saving ground while stalking the leaders through the stretch for the first time while racing one out from the rail.
He maintained his mount in this position in the run down the backstretch before he commenced his bid at the top of the stretch from just off the rail.
Chief Know It All wore down Riser in the last few yards while holding off a strong late move from Trooper John with Balgobin in the irons to finish with a time of one minute, 51.95 seconds.
Trooper John was allowed to settle off the early pace-setters into the stretch for the first time before Balgobin started to move him into serious contention approaching the third turn and he was full of run while going wide around the turn, and just missed out.
Riser was under pressure from More Power to Him, under Barbadian jockey Rocco Bowen, while setting quick early fractions of 22.80 and 46.76 seconds over the sloppy going, but he was unable to hold sway in the closing stages.

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