Nunes scores another double at Caymanas
CHAMPION trainer Anthony Nunes yesterday saddled his second two-timer in as many meets at Caymanas Park, watching super-fit UNIVERSAL BOSS chase down rivals at five furlongs straight, and GRAYDON staging a mighty last half-furlong rally to outfinish COROLANDO at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Nunes, who dethroned 18-time champion Wayne DaCosta for his first trainers’ title last year, had also posted two winners last Sunday, both partnered by leading rider, Dane Nelson, who narrowly won aboard UNIVERSAL BOSS after being slowly into stride from the dreaded one hole, especially at five furlongs straight.
Winning by a Neck
Despite his poor draw, UNIVERSAL BOSS, who was denied a hat-trick of wins on July 5 by top three-year-old, WOW WOW, chased the speedsters onto the main track to outfinish course specialists PEKING CRUZ and NUCLEAR THUNDER, winning by a neck as the 4-5 favourite in 59.1.
Dropped in class to race among $650,000 claimers by Nunes after spending four of his last five races playing second string to superior stablemates, even-money favourite GRAYDON had his way on the lead down the backstretch, but was pounced on by Omar Walker on COROLANDO entering the lane and headed off a furlong and a half out.
However, COROLANDO, renowned for having one kick, which cost him back-to-back races by narrow margins late last year, failed to race clear of the five-year-old American, who responded to a rousing ride from Robert Halledeen to rally along the rail, actually winning by a widening half-length.
Walker, who was on the receiving end of two close finishes in consecutive races, losing by a head aboard SHAUNA CRUISE, caught and beaten by Anthony Thomas astride BIGMAN UNION, before being let down by COROLANDO, ended the day with three winners.
Walker piloted 4-1 chance FRESH CASH to a one-length win over favourite ALHAMDULILLAH at nine furlongs and 25 yards in the second event, repelling a stretch challenge from the American-bred, who was seeking back-to-back victories after trampling local-breds, non-winners of two races, at a mile on July 5.
The six-time champion rider returned to land the last two events on the programme, going all the way with 3-2 favourite FEARLESS ABI at four furlongs straight before enjoying an armchair ride astride Richard Azan’s SHEPANZA at six and a half furlongs among maiden three-year-olds.
Racing continues at the weekend with the season’s first classics, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, set for Saturday and Sunday, respectively.