DaCosta wants fast start for New Year
STARTING New Year's Day without the trainers' title for the first time in 14 years, dethroned 18-time champion Wayne DaCosta is set to leave the blocks blazing with at least a two-timer on the eight-race card.
Ironically, two DaCosta runners, who should start as favourites, UNBREAKABLE and ADONIS, were claimed from new champion trainer, Anthony Nunes, who, riding on the back of his Triple Crown success with SUPREME SOUL, finally succeeded in unseating his rival.
UNBREAKABLE and ADONIS were both casualties of last year's trainers' war, winning down in class on claiming tags, to pad Nunes bankroll, only to be snapped up by DaCosta, who has now turned his rival's former arsenal against him.
UNBREAKABLE is expected to use his fitness and pace to dominate the McKay Security Trophy at nine furlongs and 25 yards, whereas ADONIS really has one runner to fear in the fifth, at five furlongs straight, K D FLYER, who has strangely flung in on a $550,000 tag after being beaten by no more than four, or so, lengths in four consecutive overnight allowance sprints.
Whereas ADONIS won his last three races, he got the better of optional claimers, losing one of those events in the stewards' room to TARANIS. However, K D FLYER's last two races were against rich company, beaten two and three-quarter lengths by GOD OF LOVE, who posted 1:04.4 for five and a half furlongs, and was a similar distance behind when the fit runner returned to frank the form by stopping PRINCE CHARLES at six furlongs in 1:11.3.
Track bias against him
K D FLYER lowered on a tag, in an optional $550,000 claiming event, is a real puzzler after actually leading GOD OF LOVE and PRINCE CHARLES for almost three furlongs last time out. The six-year-old also runs his best races at five furlongs straight but appears suspect and has the track bias against him, breaking from stall five, whereas ADONIS, also a straight specialist, is drawn widest on the faster stands' side.
Traditional season-opening events, The Fan Appreciation Day Trophy and New Year's Day Trophy, nine furlongs and 25 yards and six and a half furlongs, respectively, should suit CRIMSON and ENUFFISENUFF.
CRIMSON stumbled badly at the off in his last race, his nose almost touching dirt, causing Anthony Thomas to ride without his left stirrup for almost three furlongs, yet finished eight and a half lengths behind PRINCESS ANNIE at a mile.
Ian Parsard's KINGSMAN has worked like an aeroplane, 1:05.4 for five and a half furlongs, prepping for the New Year's Day Trophy. However, ENUFFISENUFF is coming into his own, assuming the lead at the half-mile when EARN YOUR STRIPES broke down in the Seymour Mullings Memorial.
Relegated by SENTIENT three furlongs out, ENUFFISENUFF ran well enough to straighten second and was fourth a furlong out, worn down by the winner, PRINCESS AVA, and her stablemate, TRICKY ONE, weakening badly after chasing then disputing splits of 23.0, 44.4 and 1:10.1.
SENTIENT, who finished second, returned last Thursday, Boxing Day, to flog DUKE and TRICKY ONE at seven and a half furlongs, winning in 1:30.3.