Sat | Oct 24, 2020

Nunes enjoying rivalry with DaCosta

Published:Friday | August 16, 2019 | 12:07 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Leading race horse trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes said despite the fierce rivalry between himself and champion trainer Wayne DaCosta over the years, they both still have a lot of respect for each other.

Nunes, who has finished second to DaCosta in the trainers’ championships for the last decade, currently leads his opponent by over $19 million in stakes earnings, with less than five months remaining in the season.

In fact, Nunes, who saddled the outstanding 3-year-old SUPREME SOUL, who became the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown at Caymanas Park, is highly favoured to dethrone DaCosta for the title this year.

Nunes told The Gleaner that the rivalry between himself and DaCosta has been a friendly one over the years, noting that it keeps both trainers on the top of their game at all times.

“I think rivalry is good in any sport, you think about it in the NFL you have the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers and you have the New York Giants and the (New York) Jets and so rivalry is good and that is what keeps the sports alive and keep people’s interest to keep watching,” said Nunes.

“It is the same thing in horse racing, because in America you have Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher and so these are the guys at the top level that are competing in the big races year in, year out and it is the same thing here, it is myself and Wayne DaCosta and we have (had a consistent rivalry) over the last 10 years,” he added. “We are not close friends, but I think that there is a level of respect.”

The veteran trainer, who has recorded over 1,000 winners at Caymanas Park during his career, noted that competing against DaCosta, has made him a better trainer over the years.

“It is a professional relationship and I guess when you are competing against someone like Wayne, you are not going to be as close as maybe I am with somebody else, but that is natural and I think it’s because we are trying to beat each other brains on the track,” he said.