Horse Racing

Diamond Mile to decide trainers' championship


Friday, November 24, 2017

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To say there is now a fierce battle for the trainers' championship would be a gross understatement, as rivalry continues to simmer between 16-time champion Wayne DaCosta and conditioner Anthony Nunes.

DaCosta had a tidy lead of more than $10 million after the St Leger was run in July, but Nunes has doggedly pursued his rival and has whittled down the amount significantly to just over $4 million going into the richest race for the year – the Diamond Mile – which will be contested on Saturday December 2.

Victory by She's A Maneater in the Burger King Superstakes gave DaCosta some breathing room, but it has really been short-lived as Nunes continues his assault.

The equation is fairly simple from here. Looking at the major races with good purses that remain for the rest of the season, if Nunes wins the Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy tomorrow he will almost come level with DaCosta. The Diamond Mile will then become the ultimate decider. For Nunes to snatch the coveted title for the first time, victory in the Diamond Mile would be essential.

Right now, Nunes has his best chance ever of unseating DaCosta. He has a set of reliable, experienced two-year-olds, and he enters the Diamond Mile with two horses capable of winning – Houdini's Magic and Bigdaddykool. Bigdaddykool finished second in the Diamond Mile last year, with Houdini's Magic third.

After the Diamond Mile, there is only one race with major stakes of any significance – the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, where again Nunes holds a strong hand.

If DaCosta wins the Pick-3, he greatly increases his chances of winning the title for a 17th time. A victory for DaCosta in the Diamond Mile, where he is mainly represented by She's A Maneater, would assure him of another title.

Interestingly, both DaCosta and Nunes have saddled 63 winners each this season.

While there are many variables, one thing is certain. Both trainers have to win the Diamond Mile in order to win the championship.




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