Supreme Triple Crown! - Nunes enjoys stunning St Leger, as Supreme Soul shows class at Caymanas Park
ANTHONY NUNES not only won his first Triple Crown with SUPREME SOUL, he saddled the first four past the post, relegating much-touted SENTIENT to fifth in the nine-horse field.
Despite swirling concerns regarding his well-being, SUPREME SOUL dug in determinedly along the rail, inside the last half-furlong, to overhaul stablemate TOONA CILIATA, who had headed him off a furlong and a half out, after both attacked another Nunes runner, long-time leader, EARN YOUR STRIPES, coming off the home turn.
Using superior stamina, which saw him scoring similar battling victories in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the 2000 Guineas and Jamaica Derby, SUPREME SOUL rallied strongly to win by a short head after TOONA CILIATA made a searing move from three furlongs out to challenge for the lead.
By far, the best three-year-old stayer in the country, SUPREME SOUL fought gallantly to justify his short odds of 1-2, winning in a final time of 2:09.1, four-fifths of a second faster than MARQUESAS’ 2:10.0 in last year’s race.
PRINCESS AVA, the Jamaica Oaks runner-up ran the race of her life at odds of 46-1, turning for home fifth on the inside, switched outside, improving into third a furlong out, taking aim at her stablemates, then having to go inside, then out again to move from behind TOONA CILIATA, eventually finishing a half-length behind.
EARN YOUR STRIPES stayed on for fourth after setting up the pace for his stablemates, holding off SENTIENT, who darted to his left at the start, which allowed SUPREME SOUL to sweep past him leaving the gate, a move which forced Omar Walker to stay four wide passing the stands and into the clubhouse turn.
Unlike the derby and Governor’s Cup when he showed spunk and was able to challenge for the lead leaving the half-mile, SENTIENT, racing with bandages on all four legs, never appeared to pose a threat at any stage, racing one-paced among the chasing pack.
Nunes’ feat of sweeping the first four places in the St Leger earned him $3.26m in stakes, plus $546,000 from the ninth, which he won with 40-1 outsider, BRUCE WAYNE, heaping another $3.7m-plus on the approximately $17m he started the day ahead of defending champion, Wayne DaCosta, who also saddled two winners.
The $1.175m DaCosta earned from saddling the first two past the post in the opening event for two-year-olds, ENGLAND’ ROSE and EAGLE ONE, plus 13-1 stinger, TIME FOR A KOLA, in the eighth, kept him second ahead of Gary Subratie, but with fading hopes of retaining his title more than halfway the season.
Walker and apprentice Raddesh Roman rode two winners apiece on the 12-race card. Walker opened the programme with an armchair ride aboard smart ENGLAND’S ROSE at four furlongs straight and returned to boot home SUPERLUMINAL in the Owen Silvera Memorial at a mile.
Roman won astride five-year-old LOVERS STRIKE, beating younger maidens in the sixth at six and a half furlongs and closed his tally with TIME FOR A KOLA.
A carnival of racing awaits punters, starting Thursday, Emancipation Day, followed by weekend racing on Saturday and Independence Day, next week Tuesday.