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Cherokee’s Ironman retains title

Cherokee's Ironman underlined his status as Bermuda's top racing pony after retaining his Aged Stakes title on New Year's Day.

Arnold Manders's gelding held a slight advantage over nearest rival Simsfield Hardtimes going into the final two heats of the series and did enough to retain his title.

“I think he [Ironman] set the tone for the stakes races on Boxing Day, but it wasn't settled until the final day because Simsfield Hardtimes was only two fifths of a second off us,” Manders said.

“The rest of the field were over a second or so behind, so in the end it came down between Simsfield Hardtimes and Ironman who got drawn in the same heat. First heat, we were in the two-hold and we overtook Itsallaboutme coming home and beat Simsfield Hardtimes by two fifths of a second. That gave us a four-fifths of a second lead going into the second heat, so all we did was follow [Hardtimes] around the track so he couldn't get away.”

Ironman was driven by Darico Clarke, who has replaced Tyler Lopes at the helm of Manders's Indiana-bred pony this season.

Rounding out the podium in the Aged Stakes were Simsfield Hartimes in second and Pocket De Gold in third.

Claiming the Two-Year Stakes title in record-breaking fashion was Special Gold.

Lee Raynor's stud posted a 1:05 flat to eclipse the previous mark of 1:05/1, set by Lopes's filly Google Me last season, by one-fifth of a second.

Special Gold was driven by teenager Kiwon Waldron, who equalled Lopes's record on Boxing Day at the helm of Charles Whited's colt Gold N Glory.

Thisbabyrocks and Gold N Glory, also driven by CedarBridge Academy student Waldron, took second and third in the Two-Year Stakes series.

Moving up to the Free for All, reserved for the fastest racing ponies, was Lopes's Google Me.

Cherokee's Ironman with driver Darico Clarke, far right, after retaining his Aged Stakes title

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Published January 04, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated January 03, 2018 at 8:53 pm)

Cherokee’s Ironman retains title

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