• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
3,975 Gerald Bennett
USA: Veteran trainer Gerald Bennett posted a significant achievement on Friday [April 23] when he saddled Baby Boomer to make all under Emisael Jaramillo in the third race on the card at Gulfstream Park.
Having already won a race that day with West Side Warrior at Tampa Bay Downs, where he is the dominant figure, Bennett was recording the 3,975th success of a career that began in 1976. He stands 13th in all-time races won in North America – but the Nova Scotia native is now the winningmost Canadian-born thoroughbred trainer in history, surpassing the mark achieved by the late Hall of Famer Frank Merrill.
“Frankie Merrill was big in the claiming game,” said Bennett, 77. “When you’re young starting out, you said, ‘I’m going to be like Merrill’.
“I’m Canadian-born; I raced at Woodbine and all over the place. I tied him today in the third race at Tampa. This breaks the all-time record for wins.”
600 Vlad Duric
Singapore: Four-time Singapore champion jockey Vlad Duric partnered his 600th winner at Kranji with Elliot Ness’s track-record performance in a maiden over 1,100m (5½f) on Saturday [April 24].
“I’m really rapt I got my 600th win,” said Duric, 43. “It’s something to be proud of, I guess.”
Duric, who has won the last four Singapore Turf Club riding titles, has also ridden more than 1,400 winners in his native Australia. He has 15 winners this year in Singapore, making him joint leader of the jockeys’ premiership alongside Marc Lerner.
Duric’s biggest win in Australia came on Master O’Reilly in the 2008 Caulfield Cup; his other Group wins at home include four with Mourinho.
2 Vincent Ho
Hong Kong: Vincent Ho became the first homegrown Hong Kong jockey to ride a G1 double at Sha Tin when he partnered Golden Sixty (Champions Mile) and Loves Only You (QEII Cup) to victory on the FWD Champions Day card.
Ho, 30, goes by ‘CY Ho’ on racecards. He was HK champion apprentice in 2010-11; he also rode 44 winners in New Zealand as a young rider.
Following three winners altogether on Sunday’s card (where he also landed a handicap aboard Serious Liaison), he has ridden a total of 383 winners in HK, among them 48 so far this term.
75 John Ward
USA: John Ward, who trained 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, died in Kentucky on Saturday [April 24] at the age of 75.
Lexington-born and -bred, Ward saddled 574 winners in a 40-year career during which he always favoured a selective approach. Alongside Monarchos, whose Derby-winning time was bettered only by Secretariat, he also trained champion filly Beautiful Pleasure, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 1999.
After handing in his licence in 2012, he became an executive director at the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. He also served time as an official at several other industry organisations.