First leg winner Bashierrou came two-thirds of the way Sunday to getting crowned 13th Philippine Triple Crown champion after clinching the second jewel of the Philracom series in wire-to-wire fashion at the Metro Manila Turf Club.
Behind the masterful steering of Kelvin Abobo, the Rancho Sta. Rosa-owned offspring by Brigand out of Allemeuse, bred by Melaine Habla, never relinquished the upper hand from the gates, adding P2.1 million to his earnings after clocking 1:51 for the 1800-meter distance with quarters of 14-23-24-23-27.
More comfortable was Bashierrou’s victory this time compared to his triumph at the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite last May 15 where the outstanding favorite needed a strong finishing kick to keep at bay fast-charging fourth pick Jungkook.
Bashierrou could become Philippine horse racing’s latest Triple Crown champion after Heneral Kalentong in 2020 if he succeeds in ruling the third leg on July 24 at the Sta. Ana Park in Naic.
Unless, that is, he goes out the way of two-leg winner Yes Pogi who was denied the Triple Crown by Carriedo in a heart-stopping finish back in 2010.
Four horses have since won the Triple Crown – Hagdang Bato (2012), Kid Molave (2014), Sepfourteen (2017) and Heneral Kalentong (2020).
“With one leg to go, everyone will be excited to see if Bashierrou will go all the way to become the next Triple Crown champion. That will happen come July in Naic over the lung-busting distance of 2000 meters,” Philracom chairman Reli de Leon said.
Winning rider Abobo said the longer course for the second leg required a slight shift in preparation.
“Siyempre yung added 200 meters as compared sa first leg malaking diperensiya yun. Lalo na sa amin kasi sprinter kami. So, binago lang namin yung preparasyon namin sa kanya (We needed to change our preparation because the course is longer by 200 meters).”
Asked about the prospects of sweeping the TC, Abobo said, “Masayang-masaya lahat kami. Alam naman po natin na maka-isang leg lang ay mahirap na. Pero ito kami at nakaka-dalawa na. Hopefully, makuha namin yung ikatlo. (Winning just one leg is difficult. But now that we’ve won two, we’re hoping to go all the way).”
Meanwhile, the Benhur Abalos-owned and bred Charm Campaign (Ultimate Goal out of Shadow of the Moon) took home the Hopeful Stakes and the P900,000 prize money.
The bay filly, ridden by Jesse Guce, made her move at the half-mile pole and went on to finish the 1800-meter race with a time of 1:53.4 (14-24-25-23′-27) about three lengths ahead of Lauriatisimo.
Long shot Pharaoh’s Fairy pulled off a surprise victory in the 2022 3YO Locally Bred Stakes, claiming the P600,000 top prize that comes with the victorty.
Besting seven other runners, the Charge Now out of Dajorca prodigy halted the clock at 1:54.2 (14-23′-24′-24-28′) and won by about four lengths.
Beneficiaries for the prize of the day in the Hopeful Stakes was Sto. Nino de Malolos Foundation Incorporated, and the PNPA Tagapaglingkod Class 87 Alumni Association in the 3YO Stakes.