FROM WORKING AT A WHOLESALE TO CHAMPION GROOM

Tefara Wright with his pride and joy Further and Beyond.
Tefara Wright with his pride and joy Further and Beyond.

Tefara Wright tops the list two years in a row

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Groom Tefara Wright, who is currently working at the stables of three-time champion trainer Anthony “Baba” Nunes, won his second-consecutive grooms’ championship in 2021. Wright won 25 races from 83 starts, with earnings of over $24 million, to win the title. Five of those wins were from the hoofs of top-rated Further and Beyond, who had earned over $10 million.
“Winning the championship is a tremendous feeling. It is a teamwork thing. The trainer believes in me and the other grooms believe in me, as well as the staff. We have a good team at the stables and everyone came together and chipped in. It was all teamwork,” Wright said.
“The sky is the limit and I will continue to do the hard work. I must say thanks to trainer Nunes and the other guys at the stables for the support as nothing beats teamwork,” he continued.
Further and Beyond played an instrumental role in Nunes retaining his crown and Wright said he was happy to be a part of that crowning moment for the trainer.
“I am happy for the trainer and so too are the other guys at the stables. The team worked hard as we are one. Further and Beyond played an important role, yes, but it was all teamwork and I am so happy to be a part of the team,” the former Aberdeen High and Lacovia High School student said.
Wright also stated that Further and Beyond is the best horse that he has groomed so far in his career.
“Right now, I have four horses under my care, Further and Beyond, the champion; Supreme Song and two ‘babies’.
“Currently, the best horse is Further and Beyond because he had done some great stuff. He got champion two-year-old in 2020 as he won the last two legs of the Two-Year-old series, the Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy and the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes.
“In 2021, he [Further and Beyond] won the major races; the Jamaica Cup and the Ian Levy Cup. Unfortunately, he didn’t win any of the Classic races, finishing third in the 2000 Guineas, second in the St Leger, and third in the Jamaica Derby. It was a surprising run to me in the Jamaica Cup but in the Ian Levy he showed me from at exercise that he is going to deliver.
“Toona Ciliata was a very special horse for me but he is retired; Prince Theo, I loved that horse. That’s the first horse that showed me up, and Dontae was very nice. Fantastic Feeling, she was a very nice horse with potential. I have a very nice horse now in Supreme Song — you are going to hear about that one,” Wright predicted.
Wright, who has been in racing for approximately 12 years, said that choosing a profession in the racing industry was a continuation of his family’s history.
“It is a family tradition as my father was a groom. My bigger brother is [also] a groom at Caymanas Park but he is overseas in Canada now. I have a friend named Steve Smith and he was the one took me out of my yard and brought me to the track.
“I went around trainers like Jose Pinchin, Dennis Lee, Dwight Chen at first. My first winner was Singingintherain, with Dane Nelson aboard, for Chen. I was very excited that day and it gave me the vibes of wanting to win more races. I started to work harder to see if the trainer would notice me some more and so I got another horse, Prince Theo, and I won seven races with him.
“Before that, I used to work in a wholesale in downtown Kingston but I wasn’t comfortable there, and so that was the main reason why I came to the track.
“I started working with ‘Baba’ [Nunes] in 2017 and the first horse that I got to work with was Dontae, and I won five races with him. I have not won any Classic races as yet and that is my number one goal — to win the Triple Crown. But otherwise, I won some major and trophy races,” the champion groom said.
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