CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — It was a horse race meet that definitely lived up to its billing, with a massive turn out in terms of the crowd at the Indian Castle race track in Nevis on Monday for the much anticipated annual Dan Bartlette Memorial Stakes.
The main event was race number four. This was where ‘all of the big boys played.’ Six magnificent horses thrilled the crowd with a rare parade around the entire track: Wild Candy (last year’s winner); Lowette’s Hill; Real Magic; Real Aspectation; Mr Big Pepe and Obama. When they passed in front of the main stand area, the huge crowd erupted in spontaneous applause.
It was not too long after that when all six horses burst into a full canter and the red flag and the white flag both went down and the race was well and truly on. For the first couple of furlongs, the horses all remained close to each other but on the first take of the back stretch, Real Magic seized the slenderest of leads. However, Mr Big Pepe, Wild Candy and Obama, all kept him in their sights.
As they took the hill for the final time, Obama slowed up miserably; Real Magic seemed to shift gears, followed closely by Wild Candy. The crowd was screaming to the maximum as Mr Big Pepe seemed out of it — or was he?
On the final turn, Nevis’s number one jockey, Brem Liburd started to work his magic. He skillfully guided Mr Big Pepe between the other two lead horses — almost as if he was knitting wool. As the crowd screamed and waved, it was Mr Big Pepe in first place by a clear head length. Mr Big Pepe had made it seven wins in his last seven races and owner Allister Thompson could not contain himself. He gave everyone in sight huge ‘big ups’ and then proceeded to do a couple of jumping jacks for good measure.
The final top placements for the Dan Bartlette Memorial Cup were: