Nunes needs a miracle to deny DaCosta

first_img Pushed out by jockey Omar Walker, RUN THATCHER RUN dismissed EARN YOUR STRIPES and held on by a half-length from Nunes’ fast-closing SUPREME SOUL, who arrived too late to deny the champion trainer. Victory in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes pushed DaCosta $2.5M clear of Nunes, who came roaring back in the Miracle Man with BIGDADDYKOOL, getting first run on SHE’S A MANEATER, leaving the half-mile and had all the answers when the topweight filly challenged him coming off the home turn. Driven out by Dane Nelson, BIGDADDYKOOL registered his first-ever victory, three-quarters of a length, over four-year-old SHE’S A MANEATER, who allowed the older gelding six pounds and was racing for the second time in 11 days. Nunes’ late comeback set tongues wagging, but with next Saturday’s races seemingly evenly split between the top trainers, it would take more than a Christmas miracle for DaCosta to be defeated with a $1.6M lead after his Boxing Day heroics, which included a second winner, STORM, in the second event. Apprentice Kiaman McGregor had the racing gods on his side, winning back-to-back chance rides aboard JAMAL JAMES and LAWS OF THE CODE, replacing fellow apprentice Reyan Lewis. McGregor’s two-timer had him sharing riding honours with Walker and batchmate Christopher Mamdeen, who won aboard STORM and ACAPELLA in the ninth. WAYNE DaCosta’s RUN THATCHER RUN yesterday beat Anthony Nunes’ quartet into second, third, fourth, and fifth to land the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, bagging $2.2M for the champion trainer, who ended the afternoon $1.6M ahead, virtually assured an 18th title at Caymanas Park. Nunes staged a fightback in the last two races, upstaging DaCosta’s SHE’S A MANEATER in the Miracle Man Cup with BIGDADDYKOOL, and landing the night pan with all-the-way winner EXHILIRATE, but has a mountain to climb this Saturday if he is to deny DaCosta a 13th consecutive trainers’ title. After regaining the lead by posting a five-timer last Saturday, following the Diamond Mile debacle when SHE’S A MANEATER bolted and was scratched, DaCosta started yesterday’s meet on a $1.4M advantage with the title race hinged on the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes. Outnumbered 4-2 by Nunes in the seven-horse field, DaCosta pulled off a memorable victory with RUN THATCHER RUN, a half-brother to SHE’S A MANEATER, who stalked his rival’s 3-5 favourite, EARN YOUR STRIPES, and took over a furlong and a half out. Walker wins againlast_img

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