Jardine hoping Nakeeta can go one better than his Chester Cup disappointment in Northumberland Plate
The formbook says that Nakeeta was beaten by just a short head in the Chester Cup.
However, Iain Jardine could be forgiven for thinking that it was more like 50 yards and the luck of the draw.
However, the trainer is hopeful that Nakeeta has things in his favour when he lines up today for the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
Nakeeta was drawn 15 of 17 in the Chester Cup meaning that his jockey, Royston Ffrench, was forced to go wide of the field for the whole two miles, two and a half furlongs of the race while the winner, No Heretic, had an easier passage from stall five and Jardine was left with mixed emotions.
“I was delighted that he ran a super race but we were only beaten a shorthead,” he said. “What could Royston do? That’s where we were drawn and Royston did everything right but he’s gone further than the winner. And they probably didn’t go as quick as we’d have liked as well. He loves to come off a really strong pace so I think this race will be tailor-made for him. And he’s not drawn too badly in stall nine.”
Nine might prove to be Jardine’s lucky number today but there is also 10, for the number of times that La Bacouetteuse has won for the yard, while Shrewd has been another solid performer with five wins from his last eight starts and Jardine is well on course to better his previous best seasonal total on the Flat.
The Northumberland Plate may just be one more winner on the board but, with a £92,385 cheque to the winner, it would further help to put Jardine on the map since he moved to his new yard at Currutherstown in Dumfries from where Len Lungo trained Mirjan to win the Plate in 2004.
Nakeeta has been something of a work in progress for Jardine. He said: “He’s not a big horse but he’s a strong horse and he’s had time to develop and mature.
“He’s still reasonably treated. I don’t think we’ve seen the absolute best of him yet and he’s got a big chance. We just need a bit of luck.”