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BARBADOS - Sandy Lane Gold Cup
by EZRA STUART Compliments of the Barbados Nation News
IT WAS BROTHERLY love in the 26th Sandy Lane Gold Cup as siblings Rickey Walcott and Rico Walcott rode into the history books by sweeping the Top 2 positions in the prestigious horse race at the Garrison Savannah, yesterday.
Never in the previous 25 races had a pair of brothers captured the first and runner-up places but the Walcott boys from Warner's Gap, Villa Road, Brittons Hill, did just that by pushing their mounts, Whiskey For Me (No.8) and Who's Wavering (No.7) past the finish line ahead of the field.
"To me, the enjoyment hasn't even started yet but this is the biggest moment of my career. He is a decent horse and today he just showed everything he had," Rickey told SUN SPORT after the race.
Rickey dedicated the victory to his older brother Troy, who died just two years ago.
"I have just one thing to say, I won this race for my big brother who died a couple years ago. I knew I would've won one (Gold Cup) and this is the right time. I had to win one just for him," he added.
The 25-year-old Rickey, a product of St George Secondary School, said it was smooth-sailing for most of the 1 800-metre race but he "had to manoeuvre a little bit, wait a couple seconds and ease off them a bit".
He also explained why he got up from the saddle and started celebrating even before passing the winning pole.
"I was just looking to make sure that everything was clear behind to do my thing and from there I raised my hands in the air to celebrate," he added.
Rickey, who has been campaigning in Canada for the past five years at Edmonton and Stampede, said he was delighted that his 17-year-old brother, a former Parkinson student, captured second place.
"It makes it even better. We have over 150 supporters down here (at the Garrison) or even more and we plan to celebrate later tonight at Valery pasture in Brittons Hill," he said.
Charles Jones, the father of the two jockeys, said he felt "just like how any father would feel" and proudly displayed the wager that he placed on the winning 8-7 combination.
"I am very proud but not really surprised about the outcome but I really thought that Rico would have won the race actually. It is not that I prefer him to win but a lot of people don't feel the horse could get the distance. He rode actually a sprinter but I always feel that he could make it," added Jones.
Lorna Reid, the jockeys' cousin, who celebrated her birthday on Friday, was also on hand to share in their success and said it was the best present she could ever get.
"I feel so good for them. For the whole week, I was working hard for both of them, trying to get their work permits from Trinidad but the last one only came through yesterday," she said.
The older Walcott, who was champion jockey at Stampede Park last year, returns to Canada on Thursday.
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