DaCosta still in control despite DQ
TRAINER Enos Brown's debutant, BRAETON GIGOLO, won yesterday's Abbie Grannum Memorial at 9-1 odds in the stewards' room, denying champion trainer Wayne DaCosta a vital victory with RIDDIM UP in his battle to stave off arch-rival Anthony Nunes, who posted a two-timer on the 10-race card.
Partnered by last Saturday's Superstakes-winning, six-time champion jockey Omar Walker RIDDIM UP , progressed from the rear of the 10-horse field of two-year-old maidens, going seven furlongs, but cut across BRAETON GIGOLO when shifting towards the rail two and a half furlongs out.
BRAETON GIGOLO, who also had a troubled trip in the stretch run, when attempting to challenge between RIDDIM UP and EMERALD STAR, stayed on strongly for second, after which jockey Ruja Lahoe lodged a jockeys' objection against Walker, amid a stewards enquiry into the incident.
The stewards ruled in Lahoe's favour, sentencing DaCosta to a nil on the 10-race card, including a stinging eighth-race loss to Nunes, whose 10-1 outsider, DADDY'S DILEMMA, outbattled RICKY RICARDO by a neck at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Nunes brought down the curtains with 5-1 chance FASHIONISTA, who returned off a 10-month lay-up to make all at 1,000 metres straight, narrowly winning in still wind, clocking 58.4.
Though Nunes had the upper hand in their stakes war, earning $982,800, DaCosta's two second-place finishes brought in $327,600, keeping him approximately $3.5m ahead of his rival in a bid to win an 18th trainers' title.
Meanwhile, it was as-you-were in between leading rider Anthony Thomas and Dick Cardenas with nine winners separating them as they each rode a winner. Thomas opened his account aboard the favourite, COHETE DEL EXITO in the second race at a mile before losing to Cardenas-ridden DADDY'S DILEMMA in a driving finish while aboard DaCosta's 3-2 chance, RICKY RICARDO.