Wed | Oct 23, 2019

It’s not done yet! - Nunes remains cautious despite massive lead in trainers’ title race

Published:Thursday | August 15, 2019 | 12:24 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Despite his huge $19 million lead over reigning champion Wayne DaCosta in this year’s run for the trainer’s title, Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes is still remaining cautious about his chances of winning the crown.

Nunes, who has finished second behind DaCosta in the trainers’ championships for the last 11 years, has been in immaculate form this season, saddling 51 winners compared to DaCosta’s 41. The man, who is affectionately known as ‘Baba’, is highly favoured to claim his first trainer’s title in his career this year.

However, the soft-spoken Nunes, who saddled over 1,000 winners over a 25-year span at Caymanas Park, told The Gleaner that he is not ready to call the trainer’s title just yet.

“We are actually $19 million in front now, but it is certainly not over, because there are still some big-money races left,” said Nunes.

“You have the Diamond Mile, which is about seven or eight million to the winner, and then you have the Superstakes, and you have the two-year-old series of races and so there is a lot of money to be earned over the next five months,” he said.

“The champion trainer has some very good horses to compete in those races, but we are going to compete all the way to the end, and if we get through, then that would be great, and if not, we will just try again next year,” Nunes added.

Nunes came very close to winning last year’s title, but he failed to dethrone the vastly experienced DaCosta, who held his nerve to retain the title in the final two race days, by just over $700,000.

He underlines that his entire stable is pumped up this year, after coming so close to winning the title last year and that they are now looking to finish the season on a high.

“Yes, it was close last year, and it is well-documented that I want to win a championship before my career is over, but I believe it will happen. Whether it is this year or another year, it will happen,” said Nunes.

Motivated

“We are motivated just to win races anyway for all our clients because the more races you win, is the more people you have investing in your stable, and so motivation is not an issue for us,” he added.

Nunes’ success this season was mostly down to the outstandingthree-year-old SUPREME SOUL, who became the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown at Caymanas Park. In fact, it was also the first Triple Crown success for Nunes.

He added that this feat is a huge achievement for his career because he has put a lot of hard work in this year, and it is now paying off for him.

“It is something that you want to add to your résumé and we are very proud of that fact because to keep a three-year-old healthy and sound and at the top of his game from April all the way through to July is not an easy thing to do,” said Nunes.

“That is why there has only ever been 12 triple crown winners in the history of Caymanas Park in 60 years, and so obviously, it is not something easy to do, and so we are very proud of the fact that we are able to accomplish that,” he said.