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This one is special – Wayne DaCosta

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, January 04, 2019

 

WITHOUT a doubt, the centre of attention for the majority of the 2018 racing season was placed on the trainer's championship involving champion Wayne DaCosta and Anthony Nunes, hunting his first title.

The battle between the island's top trainers was tension filled with a lot of twists, turns, brave and unusual moves and of course the ultimate pressure of winning.

In the end, DaCosta got home to achieve his 13th-consecutive title and 18th overall with stakes earnings of $69,157,400 compared with Nunes' $68,371,650.

After surrendering the lead on the Diamond Mile race day (December 1, 2018) when She's A Maneater bolted and was scratched from the Diamond Mile with Nunes' Bigdaddykool finishing in second place, DaCosta was forced to make some shifts in his stables and produced a five-timer on December 22 to regain the lead, which he kept to the end.

“The feeling is always great to win a championship. This one is special because of the competitive nature and what took place in the last month. For sure this championship is one I will treasure for a long, long time,” DaCosta stated.

He continued: “At all times you have to be flexible to change in the racing game because nothing stays the same. Things happen, nothing remains constant, so you have to put horses in different races and horses in different spots now and again. The occasion came when I had to put quite a few horses in different spots and it worked out for me this time.”

While She's A Maneater has been the trump card for DaCosta, he placed special praises on two of his two-year-olds.

“I am satisfied with the performances of most of my horses for the year. All of them ran pretty well and if I had to single out performances then I would probably say Run Thatcher Run and Stranger Danger. Those two-year-olds ran way above what I thought they would do.

Run Thatcher Run, before his maiden victory, was working pretty ordinary and ran well first time and then significantly better the second time. Stranger Danger also was a horse that is not a great worker but when he ran, he opened many eyes.

“Those two stand out. ' Maneater', she always gives her best. It wasn't smooth sailing for her for most of the year. She had quite a few mishaps, she pitched one day at the starting gates in The Viceroy Trophy over 9 furlongs and was dead last going down the backstretch and never recovered.

“She also broke badly in the Gold Cup and was last after a furlong, everybody knows about the careless mishap in the Diamond Mile when there was nobody there to open the back of the gates when the horse beside of her reared up and she broke out of the front and got loose.

“All and all, it was a roller coaster ride for her but I think, I will give her a little rest now and she will be back later in the year,” DaCosta predicted.

Commenting on the rest of his barn, DaCosta said: “The stable worked well for most of the year, we did not have many racers, and we lost quite a few near the end part of the season with Princess Annie, who I had high hopes for the two-year-old races, she reared up one morning when bathing and hurt herself. Miss Formality strained a muscle in her back leg in the last two months and Dysfunctional also strained a muscle, so quite a few of my horses went down in the last part that shouldn't have gone down. Lottery Ticket chipped a bone in her knee and also went down, but they all will be back this year and we are hoping for the best”.