DaCosta equals Feanny’s all-time wins record
Fifteen-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta saddled his 1,950th career winner in 3-5 favourite DYSFUNCTIONAL at Caymanas Park yesterday, to equal the all-time record of 14-champion Philip Feanny, both of whom have been training since the mid '70s.
DaCosta's attempt to be sole owner of the record fell short in the eighth race over the round-five course in which his highly fancied runner, LITTLE BIG HORN, suffered grave interference in the early stages of what was a very eventful race, so much so that both the winner, GARY GLITTER (8-1), and the third horse, POISON GAS, were both disqualified after two horses lost their riders in the backstretch.
DaCosta said he was happy to equal Feanny's long-standing record.
"Records are made to be broken in any sport, but when this is achieved, it's a great feeling and I'm looking forward to becoming the sole holder. Feanny, however, is still very active, having saddled Campesino to victory on Wednesday in the open allowance sprint, and even if I go ahead of him, there is the possibility that he can regain the lead even for a short time," said the 60-year-old trainer, himself a Hall of Fame inductee and, like Feanny, holds the national honour, the Order of Distinction for his contribution to racing.
Ridden by four-time champion Omar Walker, DYSFUNCTIONAL was early in the lead in the maiden condition race over 1500 metres for native bred three-year-olds. The lightly raced colt turned for home with a commanding lead and cruised home by 51/2 lengths from 6-1 chance AIR COMMANDER in a field of 13.
Significantly, DaCosta surpassed Feanny last season as the leading all-time champion trainer, with 15 titles.
The man, who is popularly called 'Pardie', started out as Feanny's assistant some 40 years ago and was also an owner in the stable as well. But he soon went on his own, saddling his first winner, ADORABLE (ridden by Winston Griffiths, groomed by Patrick Fong), months later and has never looked back, winning his first title in 1984 due to the exploits of the brilliant three-year-old filly, THORNBIRD.
Meanwhile, three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson rode two winners on the nine-race programme, including 3-5 favourite DWAYNE STAR, who led home old rival ACTION MAN by 31/2 lengths in the overnight allowance feature over the straight.
Nelson will leave the island on Thursday, April 21, to ride for an extended period in Canada for the second consecutive year. He is the leading rider so far this season with 26 winners.