Watch Nunes, Cardenas tomorrow
ANTHONY NUNES needs to earn a little over $1m in stakes for each of the six remaining racemeets this year, plus hope Wayne DaCosta endures a lean spell, if he is to stop the champion trainer from winning a 17th title.
Runner-up to DaCosta too many times to remember, Nunes continues his uphill task tomorrow, actually looking pretty good with four possible winners on the 11-race card. He has BRUCE WAYNE and AURELIA'S SUMMER aimed at sweeping the divided 1200-metre Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association Trophy as well as DONTAE in the Seymour 'Foggy' Mullings Memorial at a mile.
Nunes' go-to jockey, Panamanian Dick Cardenas, is aboard all three in addition to having the leg up on ROYAL ASSAULT in the eighth, an optional claiming event at 1000 metres straight.
Sitting $6,130,175 behind DaCosta after the champion trainer's SHE'S A MANEATER earned him $6.7m in last week's Diamond Mile, Nunes' intentions are clear - throw everything, from the range to the tack room, into the last six racemeets.
Nunes could be counting at least two winners' purses before they hatch, the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes $2.16m and the Harry Jackson Memorial's $709,800, races which PATRIARCH and BIOGDADDYKOOL should have in the bag, respectively.
BEATEN BY A LENGTH
Giving those horses benefit of the doubt, that's $2.869m to Nunes' tally, still $3.2m short, not counting any purse DaCosta's horses would have earned in those races.
Nevertheless expect Nunes to start his march tomorrow with BRUCE WAYNE, who ran a surprisingly big race a month ago, beaten a length by stablemate MILARGO when running at odds of 14-1 at 1000 metres round.
ROYAL ASSAULT should have an easy job at 1000 metres straight, running against STORMING, who had handed him a mighty upset at 1100 metres last time out. However, ROYAL ASSAULT won't be caught coming out of the straight, not by STORMING, MY WAY or FEARLESS SAMURAI, who has not been seen at exercise since claimed from DaCosta by Steven Todd.
AURELIA'S SUMMER ran a stinker last week, beaten out of sight by DaCosta's WINTER IS COMING at 1500 metres after losing a battle for second-place to the same horse when both were beaten by CARTEL on November 11.
The form played out beautifully with CARTEL going up in class to win last week and WINTER IS COMING relishing the additional half-furlong. However, AURELIA'S SUMMER ran absolutely awful, a performance which should be thrown out the window, especially with the distance reduced to 1200 metres.
DONTAE ought to have things his way at a mile in the night pan, enough cheap speed to stalk, nothing as terrifying as WESTERN WARRIOR. Even though Feanny's LIGHTNING LILY is around, when they met at 1300 metres last week, DONTAE was heads on with her at the finish and must be the horse to beat with far more real estate.
Don't for a second believe DaCosta will roll over and play dead. He has UNCLE WAL in the second, blinkers fitted, and BRANDY in the 1200-metre Dye Job Sprint for two-year-olds, non-winners of two races.