Sports

Nunes still holds the key in trainers' championship after pulsating Diamond Mile weekend

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, November 15, 2019

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There were many twists and turns over the two-day Diamond Mile racing carnival (Friday, November 8 – Saturday, November 9) as the hustle for the trainers' championship intensified with a month-and-a-half to go.

Anthony Nunes started the Diamond Mile weekend with a lead of over $11 million but his main rival, 18-time champion Wayne DaCosta, was still within mathematical reach of that lead.

On opening day, Nunes reigned supreme and significantly increased his monetary advantage with five winners to DaCosta's two after 11 races were contested.

Nunes got rolling with Royal Approach, who was awarded the second race following the disqualification of Eroy.

DaCosta answered immediately with King Arthur in Division 11 of the $900,000 maiden special weight for two-year-olds.

DaCosta then took the sixth event with Big Black Nation, who won a $600,000 claiming event for a 2-1 lead on the Friday card.

Then the Nunes winning train left the station at top speed.

In the seventh race he saddled Latapy to victory in a $900,000 Restricted Allowance event.

In the eighth, Prince Charles demonstrated his improvement by taking Division 1 of the $1.35 million Supreme Ventures Diamond Sprint Trophy.

Propelled by the return of jockey Dane Nelson, Nunes made it four winners when Princess Ava came with a telling stretch run to win Division 2 of the $1.35 million Supreme Ventures Diamond Sprint Trophy.

Now surging at top speed, Nunes closed his first-ever fiver in the 10th offering when Legality and Nelson made it look easy in the $1.4 million Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Stakes.

The question after the Friday, Diamond Mile race day was clear — could DaCosta stage a comeback?

The answer revealed itself on Diamond Mile Day itself.

DaCosta got his first winner with Lovely Day, who won the $1.1 million Power 106 FM Radio trophy.

Nunes replied with Graydon, the winner of the $1.1 million Jamaica Observer Trophy, to level the score at 1-1.

DaCosta then took the last three events on the card starting with Lady Blue in the $1.4 million Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission Chairman's Trophy to go 2-1 up on Nunes.

The stage was now set for the fifth running of the Diamond Mile.

In the richest race on the local calendar, DaCosta triumphed with a one-time finish, She's A Maneater and Stranger Danger. Not to be outdone Nunes' Toona Ciliata finished third and Supreme Soul fifth to ease the impact somewhat.

The DaCosta Saturday wave held sway in the final and 24th race over the two days as My Little Princess turned out to be an easy winner of the $1.3 million Supreme Ventures Group Classic Trophy.

So, over two days and 24 races, both DaCosta and Nunes were level at six wins each.

In the end, mainly because of the Diamond Mile result, Nunes leads with over $5 million.

The question now is, can DaCosta overtake Nunes? Let's wait and see over the 11-race days left in the year.

PRESENT STANDINGS UP TO NOVEMBER 9, 2019
Pos Name 1st 2nd 3rd Starts Stakes
1 NUNES, ANTHONY 71 72 72 416 $75,713,890
2 DACOSTA, WAYNE 70 46 44 378 $70,159,025
3 SUBRATIE, GARY 44 44 54 330 $44,073,510
4 LYNCH, PATRICK 34 31 31 251 $25,044,125
5 TODD, STEVEN 36 24 32 293 $20,179,650
6 FEANNY, PHILIP 25 12 7 77 $15,598,950
7 PARSARD, IAN 22 11 18 93 $14,940,000
8 AZAN, RICHARD 14 11 13 107 $11,893,450
9 ANDERSON, CARL 17 15 27 206 $11,337,750
10 DARBY, RYAN 17 20 17 157 $10,724,700


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