Undaunted by pressure applied on her for most of the race, Sky Shot showed them who’s the new boss in town by taking home the P10-million 2021 PHILRACOM-PCSO Presidential Gold Cup at the Metro Manila Turf Club in Malvar, Batangas.
Owned by the partnership of Edward Vincent “Don Edong” Diokno and come-backing Felizardo “Jun” Sevilla Jr., the Esguerra Farms and Stud bred (Sky Shot is by past champions Juggling Act out of Lamborghini), the fast-stepping chestnut mare had her hands full with heat coming from three-year-old stakes campaigner Gusto Mucho for more than half of the lung-busting 2000-meter journey.
The victory in the richest race in Philippine history gave the winning connections (trainer Ernesto Roxas and jockey Jonathan Hernandez)P6-million.
Chief rivals Boss Emong and Super Swerte made their move with 800-meters left in the race and even threatened to take the win, but Sky Shot was not to be denied in his claiming the most sought after plum in local horseracing by clocking 2:05 (24′-22′-24′-25-28′) for the distance.
During the post-race interview, both Diokno and Sevilla were still ecstatic over the triumph and were in unison in saying they owe it to the team. “Yung paghahanda, pag-aalaga at lahat-lahat na ay dahil sa team behind the HB stables,” Diokno said.
When asked about what is next in line for Sky Shot Sevilla replied, “Sa ngayon pahinga muna siya, then we will look at our options pag labas ng stakes calendar for 2022.”
Rounding out the top six were the late charging 2021 PHILRACOM Triple Crown two-leg winner Nuclear Bomb, Super Swerte, War Cannon, Boss Emong and PGC defending champion Pangalusian Island (which took home P2-million, P1-million, P500-thousand, P300-thousanad and P200-thousand respectively). While the breeder(Esguerra Farms and Stud) of the champion received P500-thousand.
The day of PHILRACOM-sponsored major events was started off by Sandy Javier’s Magtotobetski (Zap-Will Soon) taking the Local Challenge Stakes B worth P450-thousand to the connections.
Felizardo “Jun” Sevilla Jr.’s return to the racing scene was launched by the success of his Don Julio (Adios Reality- Guatemala) in the 2021 PHILRACOM Invitational good for P450-thousand to his team.
Flattering You(Brigand out of Allumeuse) of Melaine Habla took home the 2021 PHILRACOM Presidential Gold Cup Division II Stakes worth P600-thousand to its connections.
While in the 2021 Imported Challenge Stakes A, Chancetheracer(Quality Road out of Christmas Lass) of the SC Stockfarm Inc. up-ended highly favored Righteous Ruby to grab the laurels and taking with it the top prize of P600-thousand.
“First of all, congratulations to all the winners of today’s races especially to the Jun Sevilla-Edong Diokno partnership in taking home the coveted 2021 Presidential Gold Cup. It is great to see a day where the best of the best horses in the country vie for the major races we have lined-up for today,” PHILRACOM chair Aurelio “Reli” de Leon said.
He added, “I’d also like to thank the bayang karerista for their tremendous support in today’s events and rest assured that the PHILRACOM under my stewardship aims to make 2022 an even bigger year for Philippine horseracing.”