KINGSTON, Jamaica – What a day (Saturday, July 25) it was for champion trainer Anthony Nunes and jockey Dane Nelson
Nunes saddled four winners on the 11-race programme, but the win by his three-year-old filly Above and Beyond in the 1000 Guineas took centre stage to spectacularly kick-start the two-day Classic weekend at Caymanas Park.
Nelson was atop three winners.
Above and Beyond’s stroll to victory in the 1000 Guineas, the first of this racing season’s five Classic races, was even more than the icing on the cake for champion Nunes and Nelson.
In a performance which represented class, talent, and superiority, Above and Beyond quickly brushed aside rivals to win the 46th running of the native-bred, three-year-old Futurity by 6 ½ lengths going one mile (1,600m).
“To win four races is something to cherish, and to include the 1000 Guineas in that four is even more rewarding.
“The last time Above and Beyond raced she was not herself, and I have to take the blame, but we got her right, and she delivered for us today [Saturday],” Nunes who has won five of the last six Classic races run at Caymanas Park said.
Shortly after leaving the starting gates, Nelson put Above and Beyond in front and they never looked back.
Although challenged a bit by Another Affair (Robert Halledeen) approaching the half-mile, Above and Beyond accelerated with authority in deep stretch, winning in a time of 1:38.3.
Another Affair finished second and SenCity (Reyan Lewis), another Nunes runner was third.
This was Nunes’ fourth victory in the 1000 Guineas, saddling Latonia (Shane Ellis) in 2004; Selectabook (Dick Cardenas) in 2013; and I Am Di One (Simon Husbands) in 2019.
Nelson was winning his third 1000 Guineas, having piloted Al Fouzia in 2010 and Nuclear Affair in 2016.
“It is a wonderful feeling when you win big races, but it is even a better feeling when you win a Classic race, and I am a happy man right now. Above and Beyond is a very nice filly, and she did herself good here,” Nelson said.
Nelson combined with two other winners for Nunes to clinch his three-timer. The duo won with Generational in the third and K J Express in the seventh. Nunes’ other winner was Supreme Soul under Ellis in the fifth.