SCHOFIELD, NAKEETA GET AC­QUAINTED BE­FORE CUP

The Sportsman Special Issue - - 116 - CRAIG BREN­NAN

A SOUTH African- raised jockey rid­ing for a Scot­tish trainer on a horse owned in Eng­land in Aus­tralia’s most fa­mous race.

That’s the sce­nario for Nakeeta when he runs in Tues­day’s Mel­bourne Cup at Flem­ing­ton.

Now based in Syd­ney, Glyn Schofield rides Nakeeta for own­ers Alex and Janet Card and Iain Jar­dine, the first Scot­tish trainer to have a run­ner in the Cup.

Schofield part­nered Nakeeta, a

$ 26 chance in lat­est Cup mar­kets, for the first time in a gal­lop at the Wer­ribee quar­an­tine fa­cil­ity last Thurs­day.

Although Nakeeta was not out to break the clock, Schofield was im­pressed with the way he han­dled him­self.

“He’s not a big strap­ping horse. He’s a lit­tle fel­low, quite lively but he cer­tainly gave me a nice piece of work this morn­ing,” Schofield said.

“He got into a nice rhythm and stretched his legs out nicely and pulled up with­out a blow.

“He’s ob­vi­ously very clear-winded and gave me a re­ally good feel.”

Schofield thinks Nakeeta is the right style of horse and has the form cre­den­tials to win the Mel­bourne Cup.

He is com­ing off a win in the Ebor, the UK’s big­gest Hand­i­cap, at York at his most re­cent out­ing in Au­gust.

Last year’s Cup run­ner- up Heart­break City won the Ebor car­ry­ing less weight than Nakeeta but more weight when sec­ond to Almandin.

Nakeeta won the Ebor with 57kg and drops to 53kg on Tues­day.

Schofield said the Ebor was a good form race to take into ac­count head­ing to the Mel­bourne Cup.

“He’s an Ebor win­ner which has good form lines go­ing into the race over a num­ber of years,” Schofield said.

“He’s a type of horse that weaves through the field and has a bit of a fight.

“I didn’t re­alise the style of horse that he is un­til I’ve seen him and sat on him, but he did im­press and that’s a good thing.

“Your first im­pres­sion is the most im­por­tant and I’m go­ing out feel­ing con­fi­dent in the horse.”

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