Veteran Patrick Husbands repelled a late challenge from favourite Skywire to win the feature CAN$125 000 Marine Stakes with 5-2 choice Global Access here Saturday, and post his third added-money win of the new season at Woodbine.
The seasoned Barbadian jockey, who turned 46 last Wednesday, brought the chestnut colt from a stalking position to hit the front at the top of the stretch, and held well in the stretch to reach the wire a length clear of 3-5 chance Skywire in a time of one minute, 42.83 seconds.
“I just wanted to get him in the clear,” Husbands said about Global Access’s early position behind the two front-runners Hoffa’s Union and Lyrical Note.
“You’re riding the best horse in the race to your ability. I feel he was the best horse in the race – don’t matter he got beat last time – so I ride to my ability,” the seven-time Woodbine champion said.
“The first five strides, I realized nobody wanted the lead, so I said let me just get from down here and keep him in the clear.”
He added: “I rode this horse last time and never got him to relax. When I came back I told Darren who is the assistant trainer that if he took the blinkers off, I feel this horse can be anything.
“I breezed him and [then told him again] if you take the blinkers off, there’s no three-year-old on Canada who can beat this horse. When they win they make you proud.”
Going a mile and sixteenth for the three-year-olds, Husbands broke Global Access from the inside post to track pace-setter Hoffa’s Union from third through the half mile run in a lazy 49.69, with Lyrical Note glued to the gelding’s flank.
Approaching the final turn, Husbands moved Global Access up on the outside to take close order, forming a three-way battle on the final turn.
However, Husbands left the turn with a small lead which he increased but Skywire challenged inside the furlong to keep the winner honest until the end.
The victory marked the third stakes win of the season for Husbands in what has been a successful comeback after undergoing two surgeries to repair a broken pelvis, following a season-ending fall last November.
Husbands also captured race two on the 10-race card which saw the last two events cancelled due to the weather, combining with favourite Tequila State to collar the three-year-old and upward maidens by 7-¾ lengths going a mile and sixteenth.