No Triple Crown winner this year.
That’s because War Cannon torpedoed Nuclear Bomb’s bid for horse racing immortality with a spectacular win in the third leg of the Philracom’s (Philippine Racing Commission) Triple Crown Sunday at the Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
A change of racing strategy did wonders for Melaine Habla’s War Cannon as he waited for a perfect time to unleash his might and deny Nuclear Bomb a place in the pantheon of great of champions.
Unsuccessful in the first two legs of the premier racing event, the son of Brigand out of Ivanavinalot positioned himself well in the middle of the pack behind the superb riding of jockey Kelvin “The Genius Rider” Abobo.
And when Abobo saw the opening, he applied the whip and War Cannon responded splendidly with stablemate Flattering You dictating the tempo.
Though Nuclear Bomb also made his move, it was clear that War Cannon was gaining momentum and ready to end Nuclear Bomb’s amazing streak.
At the turn for home, it was fourth choice Gusto Mucho in the lead with both Nuclear Bomb and War Cannon leveling up.
In the straight, the race was transformed into a two-horse race with Nuclear Bomb briefly grabbing the lead. But War Cannon was not to be denied the win as the new strategy left him enough gas in the tank to blast away and take the victory by about four lengths ahead.
When asked about the change in strategy, Abobo said: Actually lahat ng leg gusto namin remate sya kaso may ugali sya kaya kinorect lang namin sya hanggang sa natuto nung 3rd leg.”
The triumph gave Habla, Abobo and multi-awarded trainer Ruben Tupaz the lion’s share of the P3.5-million purse at P2.1-million, not to mention the exquisite trophy designed and created by renowned artist Ramon Orlina.
War Cannon registered a time of 2:07 (23′-23′-26-26′-27′) in the 2,000-meter voyage.
Rounding out the top five finishers were Kevlar, Gusto Mucho, King Tiger and Flattering You.
In the 2021 Philracom Hopeful Stakes, Shanghai Silk (Shanghai Bobby ou of Discreet Empire) pulled the rug from under her more favored opponents to prevail.