Superb Supreme Soul completes Guineas double for Nunes

By Lance Whittaker April 14, 2019
Jockey Shane Ellis returning to the winners’ enclosure aboard 7-5 favourite Supreme Soul after his win in the JA$3.5 Million (US$27,500) Jamaica 2000 Guineas at Caymanas Park on Sunday. Jockey Shane Ellis returning to the winners’ enclosure aboard 7-5 favourite Supreme Soul after his win in the JA$3.5 Million (US$27,500) Jamaica 2000 Guineas at Caymanas Park on Sunday.

The 7-5 favourite Supreme Soul delivered a stout winning performance with ex-champion jockey Shane Ellis aboard in the Jamaica 2000 Guineas on Sunday to give trainer Anthony Nunes a sweep of the weekend’s Classics at Caymanas Park.

The chestnut colt flew past his rivals down the homestretch to win by two lengths over stablemate Toona Ciliata (7-1) as the 3-2 second favourite and previously undefeated Run Thatcher Run faded to seventh. Supreme Soul clocked one minute 38.80 seconds for the one-mile trip.

“I can’t be any happier,” Nunes told SportsMax.TV after his one-two finish while his other starters Earn Your Stripes (4-1) and Tricky One (99-1) placed fifth and sixth respectively.

“I am happy with all my entrants, they all ran to the best of their ability,” added Nunes, who became only the third trainer in 25 years to win both Guineas Classics.

Supreme Soul, who endured his only career defeat on Boxing Day last December to Run Thatcher Run in the Supreme Ventures Jamaica two-year-old Stakes, avenged the loss with authority.

He broke briskly from post position 14 and uncharacteristically went for the lead, racing with the pacesetters for over a furlong before giving way to more pacey rivals.

Leaving the half-mile, Nunes’s pair of Toona Ciliata and Earn Your Stripes together with the 9-1 bet Father Patrick and a fast-moving Run Thatcher Run quickened toward the final bend with Supreme Soul three lengths off the pace and being whipped up by Ellis to stay within striking distance.

Run Thatcher Run had the biggest surge when the field straightened for the homestretch and briefly moved ahead of Toona Ciliata and Earn Your Stripes but Supreme Soul produced his winning run widest on the outside and was overpowering in the final furlong en route to his fifth win in six career starts.

Toona Ciliata held his gallop for the runner-up spot and the 15-1 bet Sentient closed steadily on the rails for third.

Supreme Soul’s win sets him up for a run at the Triple Crown and Ellis expects no obstacles in the 12-furlong Derby in June and the late July St Leger over 10 furlongs.

“There is no three-year-old in the country that can beat this horse going two turns,” Ellis boldly declared.

Nunes joins Gary Subratie with his 2011 wins Niphal (1000 Guineas) and Big Man Boyu (2000 Guineas) and Wayne DaCosta two years ago with She’s a Maneater (1000 Guineas) and Fearless Samurai (2000 Guineas) as trainers in the past quarter of a century to land the Guineas double.

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    Noted trainer Antony ‘Baba’ Nunes has strongly reprimanded the Jamaica Veterinary Services Division for the treatment meted out to Triple Crown winner Supreme Soul who remains quarantined in the United States.

    The four-year-old colt headed to the United States late last year for the Caribbean Classic at Gulfstream Park but has been unable to return to Jamaica after testing positive for the tick fever virus.  Based on existing protocol, the Veterinary Services Division has insisted that the horse be treated for the virus in the United States, but with the disease not endemic to that region the drugs need to treat the animal are not readily available.

    In the meantime, according to Nunes an email from the USDA stated that the horse had spent more than 44 days straight in a 10 by 10 feet quarantine isolation stall, which does not typically hold animals longer than 15 days.  The trainer believes the action borders on inhumane.

    “…If the USDA is telling you that it is inhumane to do that to this animal are you telling me that veterinarians from the country of which this horse was born are saying no you cannot come here, that you do not have a humane bone in your body to worry about this horse mentally and physically,” an irate Nunes told the SportsMax Zone .

    This horse represented his country, it’s no fault of his own.  It’s like Usain Bolt going to the Olympics, catching the flu and you tell him he can’t come back home,” he added.

    A part of the trainer’s grouse is based on the fact that he believes the tick fever virus is pervasive on the island, with over 50 percent of animals at Caymanas Park carrying markers for the disease.

    “For Veterinary Services Division to say that they cannot accept Supreme Soul back into Jamaica makes absolutely no sense.  In fact, if he was to be shipped back to Jamaica he shouldn’t even have to go through quarantine because the truth of the matter is that of the 1200 horses he is going to mix with at Caymanas Park, 1199 of them are already probably carrying the tick fever virus."

    According to the trainer, the USDA will not able to get tick fever medicine to treat the horse until around March, by then it could cost approximately $US40,000 to keep the horse in the United States.  At that cost, the trainer believes it could come down to a business decision, which could see the horse euthanized.

    “You are putting the owner in a position now where you are saying to him this going to cost you $US40,000 through no fault of yours or the horses and we are going to have to suck it up. No.”

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