Nunes set to hold off DaCosta’s charge

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

FAC­ING A deficit of $924,550 fol­low­ing SHE’S A MANEATER’s break­away and sub­se­quent scratch in last Satur­day’s Di­a­mond Mile, cham­pion trainer Wayne DaCosta has his top Amer­i­can two-year-olds, STRANGER DAN­GER and AMER­I­CAN IN­VADER, all set to com­plete the ex­acta in this af­ter­noon’s six-fur­long Dye Job Sprint as he makes a des­per­ate last­ditch bid to land an 18th ti­tle.

In­cluded in the line-up are Fitz­nahum Wil­liams’ United States bred de­but ant, SHACK LE VILLE, and five lo­cal-breds, in­clud­ing Nunes’ pair of JUICE MAN and UNIVER­SAL BOSS.

It will again be a mat­ter of how far DaCosta’s for­eign­ers beat the rest of the field, with STRANGER DAN­GER pre­ferred to AMER­I­CAN IN­VADER fol­low­ing his roar­ing run to catch the filly on de­but, in­stalled the 1-2 favourite to beat his sta­ble­mate, who had won on her first start.

With an extra half-fur­long to run, STRANGER DAN­GER, who had won at five and a half on de­but, showed off his pedi­gree at ex­er­cise on Novem­ber 25, clock­ing 1:05.3 for five and a half fur­longs, the last five in 59.3, get­ting the bet­ter of AMER­I­CAN IN­VADER.

Hav­ing clocked 1:06.0 for five and a half fur­longs last time out with only a head sep­a­rat­ing them, both are leagues above the op­po­si­tion and should quickly make their way to grade one next sea­son.

Whereas DaCosta stands to earn $713,400 for a STRANGER DAN­GER-AMER­I­CAN IN­VADER ex­acta and a pos­si­ble win with down-in-class STORM, the cham­pion trainer won’t put a dent in An­thony Nunes’ lead as FOOT SOL­DIER, drop­ping from up the claim­ing lad­der, won’t lose at eight and a half fur­longs in the eighth and SUPREME SOUL, BIGDADDYKOOL’s half­brother by Soul Warrior – DIS­ABIL­ITY CHARM’s sire – is also a cinch at a mile in the An­drew H.B. Aguilar Me­mo­rial.

NEXT TO IM­POS­SI­BLE

After the number-crunch­ing and drama of Di­a­mond Mile Day set­tled, Nunes reg­is­tered a $1.8 mil­lion swing on cham­pion Wayne DaCosta to surge $924,550 ahead in the train­ers’ stand­ing, a lead which could have been $4m greater in an­other stride had the win­ning post not saved show­boat­ing Robert Halledeen’s hide aboard WILL IN CHARGE.

It will be next to im­pos­si­ble for DaCosta to chal­lenge Nunes, who has the Box­ing Day $4 mil­lion Ja­maica TwoYear-Old Stakes locked with CO­RA­ZON as the favourite to grab the $2.1 mil­lion win­ner’s purse, while his sta­ble­mates are fan­cied to pick up scraps in a race in which the cham­pion trainer’s only hope is Di­a­mond Mile Day debu­tant-win­ner RUN THATCHER RUN, SHE’S A MANEATER’s half-brother, by Fear­less Vi­sion, mak­ing him a full brother to 2000 Guineas win­ner ALI BABA.

DaCosta, how­ever, ap­pears as if he’s not go­ing down with­out a fight and has SHE’S A MANEATER lined up in a graded stakes sprint, go­ing five and a half, next Satur­day. If that race doesn’t fall through, she could very well pull a dou­ble shift by re­turn­ing 11 days later in the Mir­a­cle Man Tro­phy, which re­places the Harry Jack­son Me­mo­rial on Box­ing Day, the dis­tance re­duced to nine fur­longs and 25 yards.

Should she com­pete in both, the com­bined win­ner’s purses is a lit­tle over $1.2 mil­lion, far less than DaCosta needs to chalk up an 18th train­ers’ ti­tle, con­sid­er­ing Nunes’ lead and his own­ers’ pen­chant for claim­ing horses high and drop­ping low.

Ains­ley Wal­ter/Gleaner Writer NUNES

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