Nieta auditions for spring stage
TALENTED mare Nieta has three races in the coming weeks, starting at Randwick tomorrow, that will serve as an audition stage for loftier goals in the spring.
Trainer John Thompson has a high opinion of the lightly raced four-year-old, who took some big steps forward in the latter part of 2016, and believes the Ranvet Handicap (1000m) is an ideal starting point.
Nieta hasn’t raced since a game second in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) on December 3, race that showed Thompson she’s a potential carnival sprinter.
“She still has to keep making those steps but she showed she the ability to do it,” Thompson said.
“We’ve planned on going to Scone and she needed a lead in run.
“She’ll probably only have three runs this prep and a freshen up to come back for the spring.
“If she does take the next step we will aim her at some good races.”
The i mmediate target will be the Listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at Scone on May 13 and, all going well, the June Stakes will follow.
What Thompson has learned about Nieta in the past couple of preparations is that she’s very much a short courser.
He deliberately missed the autumn, though being up from June to December had a bit to do with that decision.
“She had have a spell, she was up for very long time which ruled her out of the carnival,” he said.
“She had a wind problem early and operation
since we’ve kept her to short, sharp, distances she’s been outstanding.”
With two trials under her belt, an unbeaten fresh record, and a proven ability to handle all conditions, Thompson said she’s pretty ready to fire first-up.
“She probably could have won either trial if asked to,” he said.
“Blake (Shinn) galloped her on Tuesday and was pretty happy with her.”
A drying Randwick track would be to lightly raced four-year-old Dreamforce’s advantage in the tab.com. au Handicap ( 1400m) but 4.4mm on Wednesday night wasn’t exactly welcomed by Thompson.
He said Dreamforce had come back in great fashion, evidenced by his close firstup second at Newcastle, but doesn’t want another heavy track.
“He was a little bit stiff (at Newcastle), I think with clear running he would have won,” said.
“He’s improved with that run under his belt.
“I think the only worry with him is track. His form very good on firm surfaces but in his second trial this prep he went terribly on a heavy track.
“If it’s a soft 5 or 6 we are sweet.”
Stayer Danjeu makes his 2017 debut in the ATC Membership Handicap (1600m) following a third in the Christmas Cup back December.
While the six-year-old has had two barrier trials Thompson is to the point about his prospects.
“He’s come back well, there are some Listed staying races coming up but a mile will be too short for him,” he said.
She still has to keep making those steps but she showed she has the ability to do it. – John Thompson
The John Thompson-trained Neita is ticking over nicely ahead of Saturday’s Ranvet Handicap