Thu | Apr 18, 2019

DaCosta’s stars set to shine

Published:Saturday | March 23, 2019 | 12:16 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer

CHAMPION trainer Wayne DaCosta’s champion two-year-old from last season, RUN THATCHER RUN, has a race against time in this afternoon’s third race whereas his half-sister, the illustrious SHE’S A MANEATER, will also be racing time – the clock – in the Chairman’s Trophy.

As innocuous as it might seem, the third event, a bunch of horses thrown together in an optional $1 million claiming event, could be as revealing as last week’s Prince Consort Stakes with rivals watching to see whether RUN THATCHER RUN he will be ready for the 2000 Guineas in three weeks’ time.

With only two gallops under his girth since resuming training two weeks ago after being pin-fired, and unraced since landing the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes on Boxing Day, RUN THATCHER RUN reports with question signs over his head.

Facing nine rivals at six furlongs, including speedsters such as CRUCIAL APPEAL and his own stablemate, United States-bred AMERICAN INVADER, who has looked much better at exercise without the tongue tie, RUN THATCHER RUN, has a three-month catch-up on his plate to cover in one race.

With Nunes having Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes runner-up, SUPREME SOUL, on ice after a big seven-furlong victory on January 12, and stablemate TOONA CILIATA outbattling speedy FATHER PATRICK in the Prince Consort, at the same distance and similar time last Saturday, the Guineas bar has been set pretty high for a ­seemingly rusty RUN THATCHER RUN.

However, DaCosta is never to be underestimated, especially after lifting RUN THATCHER RUN from virtual obscurity of winning a maiden race on December 1 to upstaging Anthony Nunes’ entire two-year-old cohort, three-and-a-half weeks later in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes.

In addition, his table-turning feat with LADY BLUE in last week’s Thornbird Stakes, after her being pummelled by Nunes’ CORAZON as a two-year-old, raises the question of whether DaCosta could be playing possum in the weeks leading up to the 2000 Guineas.

AMERICAN INVADER ripped the exercise track in 1:06.3 for five and a half furlongs last Saturday morning, without the tongue tie, an error and a blessing the railbirds claimed, which has led to DaCosta also removing the figure eight this weekend.

However, the presence of RUN THATCHER RUN with Omar Walker aboard, opting off AMERICAN INVADER, suggests the most ­successful jockey-trainer ­combination in the history of Caymanas Park should be followed until proven wrong.