Barbadian jockey Rico Walcott intensified his bid to repeat as champion jockey at the Century Mile racetrack with a double on Friday’s race programme.
With the racing season at the main racetrack in western Canada ending on October 30, Walcott leads the standings with 62 wins – six more than Enrique Alonzo Gonzalez, his nearest and biggest rival for the title.
Walcott was a multiple champion jockey at the now-defunct Northlands Park, and he is seeking his second title at Century Mile, which is located next door to the Edmonton International Airport.
He had to wait until the middle of the 10-race card to land his first win of the day aboard the 2-1 favourite Ann of War in the CAN $9,330 fifth race and returned to score in the CAN $7,150 eighth race astride the 5-4 favourite Temple of Zoom.
In between, Jamaican Dane Nelson secured his eighth win of the season with a comfortable win on the 8-5 favourite Wildcat Willy in the CAN $16,725 sixth race.
Walcott was unhurried on Ann of War early in the 1,300-metre trip on the dirt, but he moved her up into striking position approaching the final turn before he launched a bid along the rail and the two-year-old, bay field prevailed by the bob of a head under a drive for a time of one minute, 19.93 seconds.
Nelson got into the frame in the next race after Wildcat Willy was sat in a striking position and swung wide coming out of the final turn in the 1,300-metre jaunt on the dirt before the two-year-old, bay gelding pushed to the front and won by 5 3/4 lengths going away from the field in 1 min, 17.91 secs.
Walcott sat Temple of Zoom just off the pace before gaining the lead on the three-year-old, dark bay filly in the final turn and keeping to task for a 2 3/4 lengths win in 1:39.08.