British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Moonlight Bandit sweeps feature race @ Ellis Thomas Downs

Moonlight Bandit had horse racing fans jumping for joy as it trotted to victory in the feature race of the Boxing Day Races, held at Ellis Thomas Downs on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

“I tell them I’m going to beat them this time,” says Dion Stevens, owner of the champion horse.

He said he believes the ongoing pandemic assisted his horse in winning.

He explained, “The horse itself is different. Through the pandemic, he got a good rest, and I am dealing with him different myself.”

Moonlight Bandit raced against One Way To Fame from Mission House Racing Stables in the third race, dubbed, The Hon. Julian Fraser Classic.

Meanwhile, in the first race, – The Bob and Letty Hodge Sprint Classic – Nadiaes Image from Top Priority Racing Stables and Uncle Mace from Mission House Racing Stables competed, with Nadiaes Image bringing home the win.

Second race scratched


For the second race, – K & J Trucking Classic – Warrior’s Ridge from Mission House Racing Stables and Courage & Honour from Top Priority Racing Stables were set to compete. However, that race was scratched.

VI Horse Owners Association President Lesmore Smith who commented on the races said, “All in all, it was nice, I appreciate all the good fans for coming out.”

He said it is his hope that 2021 will be a better year for the sport.

“We are hoping to get more horses and get more people involved in the sporting arena and to make it more enjoyable like it used to be. But it is no control of ours; it is what is being presented as it is now, so we have to say to God be the glory,” he pointed out.

Donkey Derby


In the meantime, two donkeys had fans peeling with laughter as they trotted down the track.

“The donkey derby is something that you find in between the festive season, like in the Carrot Bay celebration. Today, we decided to have them here based on the number of horses we have as an additional attraction to make people feel free, to laugh and enjoy the moment. So it was just an added plus to what we had by having the donkeys come out and do the donkey thing,” Smith explained.

The two donkeys ran about a one and a half furlong race.

Notably, there was no set prize per race due to the impact of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Instead, proceeds from the gate would be distributed among participants, Smith said in an earlier interview.

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