Leading rider sets sights on first jockey’s title
Leading rider Dane Dawkins has set his sights on winning his first jockey's championship at Caymanas Park this year.
Dawkins, 28, has been in excellent form at the track this year, with an impressive 15 wins so far this year.
In fact, he won five races last weekend, a four-timer last Saturday, and one winner on Sunday.
"I am going for the championships and so all I have to do is stay focused and I hope I continue to get the rides," said Dawkins.
"I have been getting a lot of good rides and I have been training a lot harder and that is giving me the results whenever I go out there," he said.
Dawkins is currently five wins ahead of Tevin Foster in the standings. Foster is followed by Robert Halledeen on nine and Dane Nelson, six.
The leading rider stated that the battle for the championship will be a lot tougher this year as a number of riders have their eyes on the crown.
"Former champion Dane Nelson is here and the other jockeys are also riding for it and so it is going to be very exciting this year," he said.
Dawkins, who has been riding at Caymanas Park for the past seven years, underscored that he is hoping to surpass his career high of 42 wins for a season this year.
"I am feeling very good at the moment because it is the first time that I have had some many wins at the start of the year," he said.
"The trainers have always had a lot of confidence in me, especially Gary Subratie and Ian Parsard, and so I am just getting better rides than I am used to and I am making full use of them," Dawkins said.
The soft-spoken Dawkins, a former student of the Greater Portmore High School in St Catherine, has already won more than 200 races in his career. He is usually away on the North America circuit for much of the year but has no intention of going overseas this year.
"I am staying home this year because I need to win my first jockey championship," he said.
Physically Dawkins said he is ready for the task ahead.
"I am very fit right now as I have been working a lot of horses in the mornings and I also do my workouts in the evenings," he said.