She’s A Maneater wins Su­per­stakes thriller

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Ains­ley Wal­ters Sun­day Gleaner Writer

“SHE IS one of the great­est horses to have run at Cay­manas Park,” cham­pion trainer Wayne Da­Costa de­clared yes­ter­day af­ter SHE’S A MANEATER ral­lied in deep stretch to beat WILL IN CHARGE by a short head in one of the most thrilling Su­per­stakes fin­ishes ever in its 40-year his­tory.

It was a lit­eral head-bob that de­cided the most an­tic­i­pated race of the year, WILL IN CHARGE and SHE’S A MANEATER locked in bat­tle from the top of the lane af­ter shak­ing loose of BIGDADDYKOOL when the pace quick­ened three fur­longs out.

Da­Costa’s rab­bit, DRUM­MER BOY, led the six-horse field be­fore WILL IN CHARGE took over five fur­longs out with SHE’S A MANEATER slip­ping in­side to go af­ter her neme­sis, who had floored her in last month’s Gold Cup.

The su­per­filly swooped down on WILL IN CHARGE com­ing off the home turn, and a bat­tle for the ages started, with SHE’S A MANEATER in mid-track and her ri­val down along the rail with Robert Halledeen.

Head-bob af­ter head-bob, the lead changed hands in­side the last half-fur­long un­til the win­ning post in­ter­vened, end­ing one of the most epic Su­per­stakes clashes ever, Omar Walker and SHE’S A MANEATER tri­umph­ing over Halledeen and the brave WILL IN CHARGE.

Da­Costa af­ter­wards said SHE’S A MANEATER’s sex al­lowance, which gave her a 12lb weight swing on WILL IN CHARGE out of the Gold Cup, plus a change in her ex­er­cise regime, al­lowed the filly to de­fend her Su­per­stakes ti­tle against the most im­proved horse in train­ing.

WAS A TRUMP CARD

“Def­i­nitely,” he re­sponded when asked whether the weight swing was a trump card for SHE’S A MANEATER, adding that tak­ing her off the boil at ex­er­cise af­ter the Gold Cup also worked won­ders.

“We’re go­ing 10 fur­longs, so we had to change for the race,” he added.

Mean­while, Walker, a six-time cham­pion, who has ac­counted for all three Di­a­mond Mile events so far, paid his re­spects to WILL IN CHARGE’s brave run but said that his filly was up to the task.

“He was fight­ing her back, but she kept on fight­ing him,” he pointed out.

Da­Costa’s back-to­back Su­per­stakes win, his sec­ond in a ca­reer dec­o­rated with 17 train­ers’ ti­tles, drove a dag­ger into An­thony Nunes’ hopes of de­thron­ing him this sea­son af­ter BIGDADDYKOOL could only man­age third, fin­ish­ing seven and a half lengths be­hind the top two.

Da­Costa, who started the day $1.624 mil­lion clear of Nunes in their stakes race atop the train­ers’ stand­ings, ex­tended his lead to ap­prox­i­mately $3.6 mil­lion, also land­ing the In­vi­ta­tional Mile with 6-1 shot WITHOUT EX­CEP­TION, part­nered by Ja­vaniel Pat­ter­son, get­ting the bet­ter of Gary Subratie’s 3-5 favourite, HILLY’S HALO.

BIGDADDYKOOL’s third-place Su­per­stakes fin­ish could be just enough to earn him a place in next month’s $8 mil­lion Di­a­mond Mile, Nunes’ last straw of the sea­son to de­throne Da­Costa.

Dane Nel­son won two events on the 10-race card, in­clud­ing the six-fur­long Caribbean Sprint aboard 7-5 favourite and de­fend­ing cham­pion, CHACE THE GREAT, to share rid­ing hon­ours with new ap­pren­tice Christo­pher Mamdeen.

‘Su­per Week­end’ winds down to­day with the an­nual Year­ling Sale, start­ing at 10:30 a.m. in the Of­fi­cials’ Car Park.

Arima Race Club pres­i­dent Baskaran Bas­sawh was spot­ted in the North Lounge at Cay­manas Park, sig­nalling the re­turn of the Trinida­di­ans for this year’s sale, giv­ing the lo­cals a run for their money in the auc­tion ring.

Rac­ing re­sumes on Wed­nes­day.

IAN ALLEN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

SHE’S A MANEATER (left, Omar Walker up) wins the 2018 Burger King Su­per­stakes by a short head from WILL IN CHARGE, rid­den by Robert Hal­ladeen, Cay­manas Park, yes­ter­day.

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