By Neto Baptiste
Veteran jockey Julian “Ritical” Walters, after dominating three of the five races during last Sunday’s Pre-Whit Monday Race Meet to be crowned jockey of the day, said that although he welcomes the return of racing following a long layoff, the level of competition is not at its best just yet.
Speaking on the heels of the meet, Walters said there was lots more left in his tank following the day’s final race held at the Cassada Garden’s Race Track.
“The competition is kind of not really there right now, so I am not really putting out 100 percent, or all of Ritical, so I still have a lot there I could do and improve on the riding thing still,” he said.
Walters won the day’s featured race which was contested over six furlongs. He successfully piloted Syrian Soca over the finish line in one minute and 15 seconds (1:15.00) ahead of rival Massacre piloted by Jahquan Browne.
The day’s champion jockey was also triumphant in race number four when he rode Playa Zaragoza to a comfortable win over Unruly Union and jockey Leslie Gomes in second. Silent Action finished third with Browne as the rider.
There was victory as well for Walters in the third race of the day as he guided Diego to a close finish ahead of Guilty Pleasure and jockey Cornell Drew with Tonya, piloted by Browne, finished third.
Walters pointed to race number three as his toughest for the day.
“I started behind and the guy in front was leading a good distance so it was a little panic situation for me because I didn’t believe I was going to catch him but it just unfolded and coming down the home stretch I managed to catch him. The games opened [at the same time] for everybody but his hose just came out a little better than mine and took the lead and plus, my horse ran wide on the corner so it just gave him a little edge,” he said.
In Sunday’s first race over four furlongs, First Lady and her jockey Tariq Charles, set an early pace to win the event while Taliban, piloted by Browne and Black Love, jockeyed by Leroy Campbell were second and third respectively.
The second race, ran over 5.5 furlongs, was captured by Chosen Warrior with Bowne guiding the way while Zury with Leslie Gomes as jockey, finished second.