When Dillon Khelawan produced the Errol Stables owned Whisper Light some 300 metres from home, a smile appeared on the face of owner Andre Baptiste as he felt victory was in sight in the feature Grade One - Xtra Foods Stewards Cup over 1,200 metres on the main track, at Santa Rosa Park, on Saturday.
The Glenn Mendez trained five-year-old gelding recorded victory by two lengths at odds of 7/2 and in the process stopped the John O'Brien Stewards Cup connection planned party.
Asked how he felt about winning the top prize and his charge becoming the top sprinter in the Southern Caribbean, Baptiste said, "The last time we led in a Stewards Cup winner was in 2011 with Signal Alert. It took us seven years to repeat our success but it makes me feel ecstatic. It is always a great feeling when you win a graded race, much less to win the symbol of sprinting supremacy, the Stewards Cup. This is really a great feeling.
"Everyone knows that Whisper Light has his kinks, he has a mind of his own but he has the talent to win when he wants. Once he puts his mind into it he could win whenever he wishes.
"Today (Saturday) Khelawan gave him a perfect ride. He tracked the pace set by Rocket Wheels and waited to pounce in the straight. Once he gave him the green light to head for home, he was on his best behaviour and ran away impressively from Rocket Wheels and Thisonesforron. He was really good, despite trying to pull himself up close to the finish line. I must thank trainer Glenn Mendez for his exceptional work and skill in getting this gelding back to peak condition for this event and jockey Khelawan for riding a supremely confident race."
Khelawan, who was very confident of victory said, "I know him very well. In the straight, once I asked him to go win the race he quickened really well to run away in style. However, he tried to pull himself up close to home and I simply took my feet out of the irons. He does this at exercise so this is nothing new to me. One thing is certain, on his best day he will beat the best challenger and today (Saturday) was one of those days. My thanks go out to trainer Glenn Mendez and owners the Errol Stables. Now we will see what he can do in the Gold Cup."