Tue | Mar 21, 2023

Dawkins credits better mounts for first jockeys’ title

Published:Thursday | January 5, 2023 | 1:20 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Dane Dawkins, 2022 Champion Jockey.
Dane Dawkins, 2022 Champion Jockey.

HAVING TURNED pro back in 2015, Dane Dawkins had to wait seven years to claim his first jockeys’ championship at Caymanas Park.

The reserved 29-year-old, who rode more than 100 winners (103) for the first time in his career, said that he was very happy about his achievement and that there were many persons involved in the winning process.

“Well, winning my first championship is something that I’m very happy about with the help of the crowd, my trainer, owners, and the regular punters,” said the reigning champion jockey.

Dawkins had to stave off the challenge of former two-time champion Anthony Thomas, who eventually finished second with 98 winners.

Dawkins did not begin the season with the aim of winning a championship on his agenda but was more than prepared to grab the title with both hands if the opportunity showed itself.

“I didn’t do anything different this season. I just started getting the better mounts, and that was what made the difference in helping me to win the championship. “I had it that if it comes my way then I’d ride for it, and last year was the first time it came my way, so I said ‘ok’ and made up my mind that I’m now riding for it (championship),” said Dawkins.

Dawkins credits a list of persons, including close friends and riding partners, for inspiring his most recent accomplishments at Caymanas Park.

Dawkins was able to whittle down the list to his trainer, Patrick Lynch, Gary Subratie, Shane Ellis, Javaneil Patterson, Raddesh Roman, and his agent.

Going into the final raceday at Caymanas Park last Saturday, Dawkins already had one hand on the title, having opened a four-win lead on Thomas, and said the buffer allowed him to relax on a day when he rode a hat-trick of winners.

“I wasn’t nervous because I know four races is not easy to win, so there weren’t any nerves,” Dawkins said of the final day.

The champion jockey doesn’t intend to do much different in 2023, with the season having already begun on Monday.

“Well, I’m going to be the same old Dane, and nothing is going to be changed about me.

“It’s a happy feeling to know that yes, you now have a little star on your shoulder.”