The 'Big Daddy' is back and red hot

Bigdaddykool wins Nigel Nunes Trophy in near record stakes time

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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BIGDADDYKOOL (Linton Steadman) returning to competitive racing after injury setbacks, gave racing fans a glimpse of what's to come later on in the season when he destroyed a good and talented field of eight Open Allowance runners to win the $1.15 million, Nigel B Nunes Memorial Cup feature on the Heroes' Day programme at Caymanas Park yesterday.

The win was another moment of personal significance for Bigdaddykool's trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes as he was winning the trophy named in honour of his father Nigel, a Hall of Fame inductee and a former champion trainer.

“It is a signal honour to win the trophy race named in honour of my father and to do it with Bigdaddykool who has had his problems is even more special. He ( Bigdaddykool) really showed his class today and I am truly delighted with the effort.

“The day was even better for the Nunes family as my sister Susan won the first race with her horse She's Symbolic. Truly a day to cherish and remember,” Anthony Nunes said after the win by Bigdaddykool who was the second winner on the day for both himself and Steadman.

Having not raced in 107 days, Bigdaddykool showed no signs of distress when romping home easily by six and a half lengths in the three-year-old and upward event over nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m).

In doing so, the Nunes trainee ran the distance in a blistering 1:53.0 which is just outside of the Stakes record of 1:52.1 done by Long Running Train two years ago.

By virtue of the quality and class of the victory by Bigdaddykool, the stage is now set for quite a competitive Superstakes on November 10 and the Diamond Mile on December 1, the latter being a race in which Bigdaddykool has finished second in over the last two years. Racing fans are sure to pack the rafters at Caymanas Park to see the contests involving Will In Charge and She's A Maneater and now 'The Daddy'' is in the mix which makes the possible clashes even more intriguing.

St Leger winner Marquesas (Shane Ellis) ran his heart out to finish in second place, over five lengths ahead of Dontae (Tevin Foster) and Superluminal (Javaniel Patterson) in fourth.

Splits were moderate at 26.0, 49.4, 1:39.2 for the mile (1,600m) run.

Steadman, who seems to have developed a unique association with Bigdaddykool, kept the SorrentinoBeware Baby – five-year-old-gelding - off the pace as Lightning Lily (Oneil Mullings) took the field around the clubhouse turn with Uncle Frank (Christopher Mamdeen) and Dontae chasing.

The order remained the same entering the backstretch but approaching the six-furlong point, Marquesas began his run against the inside rail with Bigdaddykool still off the pace.

Bigdaddykool then made his run approaching the half mile (800m) when he rounded horses at a rapid rate. looking increasingly dangerous at the seventh-sixteen marker.

The far striding Bigdaddykool then picked up the lead at the top of the lane and from there he just went further and further away with his rider having a peek behind before turning off the burners. In the end, it was a comfortable win and confirmation that Bigdaddykool is back with all cylinders burning and working well.

She's Symbolic provided new minted apprentice Raddesh Roman with his first ever win in the saddle while another of the lot of 21, Daniel Thompson also visited the winners' enclosure for the first time aboard the Paul Hylton trained Awesome Cat.

Probably the most significant two-timer was posted by leading rider Anthony Thomas. Thomas won on board Princess Annie in the sixth race and Pizarro in the eighth race.

Those winners pushed him to 79 wins for the year, 12 more than Dick Cardenas on 67 in the race for the jockey's championship. Cardenas did not ride yesterday as he was serving a one-day suspension.

Two-year-old Princess Annie after racing three times was able to get the winning job done in emphatic fashion as the Northern Giant Millenium Princess offspring owned by Carlton Watson and trained by Wayne DaCosta defeated newcomer Cairo by six lengths with Duke, another first timer coming in third.

Princess Annie who is the first offspring of Northern Giant to win in Jamaica clocked a respectable time of 1:20.4 for six and a half furlongs with splits of 23.2 x 47.3 x 1:13.2.

Racing continues on Saturday next, October 20, 2018.

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