KINGSTON, Jamaica - On Sunday, September 11, 2022, Anthony Nunes, the three-time defending champion conditioner, stunning racing fans when he saddled the winners of the last three races on the 10-race programme, all at long odds to leave punters reeling.
The celebration started in the eighth race when his charge Howilookin, ridden by Tevin Foster, upset rivals at odds of 37/1. Howilookin came from behind horses to beat another Nunes long shot Wowza (Carlos Blake) at odds of 41/1 by 2 ¾ lengths over six-and-a-half furlongs (1,300m). The Nunes exacta paid $21,899 while the quinella was $8,106.
It got even sweeter in the very next race when the pair of El Cid, at odds of 11/1, and GT Boy, at odds of 17/1, finished first and second, respectively, giving Nunes another one-two finish. El Cid was ridden by Foster and GT Boy by Reyan Lewis. This time the Nunes exacta paid $4,468 and the quinella $1,955, while the double paid the princely sum of $18,142.
Nunes then closed out his triple with the 8/1 shot Jungle Boogie, ridden by Carlos Blake in the 10th after which he received a standing ovation from his loyal supporters at the park. The Nunes triple paid $51,084.
“When we started the day I figured that we will win three races but not with these three horses. We thought that Oldkingcole would win and Ha Gow Siu Mei would win and Nefertari. But we will take it, three wins are three wins and I feel great as any time you can win a race, much less three, it is a fantastic day,” Nunes said.
“I think that the horses liked the slop and so their form turned around. Shane [Ellis] told me that Ha Gow Siu Mei was not enjoying the slop at all and Wowza being from urf breeding ran very well.
“And with Howilookin, the pace ran fast and it came back to him. I think Nefertari didn’t run bad; she hadn’t run in a while but she came home late,” Nunes continued.
DaCosta started the day on $44,391,170, some $6,723,655 ahead of Nunes on $37,677,505. After Nunes triple, the champion trainer cut the lead to $4,845,865. DaCosta leads with $44,851,270 ahead of Nunes on $40,005,405.
“To tell you the truth, I am not even focusing on that [championship]. It is going to be an uphill task. Yes, we are going to try, we are always going to try and win the championship, but it is going to be difficult for us to beat Jason, but you never say never,” Nunes said.