No sec­ond- up syn­drome for Nic’s Ven­detta

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACEDAY PREVIEW - MATT JONES

WHEN Nic’s Ven­detta turns up to the races sec­ond-up, he means busi­ness.

And it was no dif­fer­ent in yes­ter­day’s High­way Hand­i­cap (1200m) at Royal Rand­wick when he brought up his fifth win from six starts sec­ond-up.

He siz­zled over the 1200m to beat favourite Ori On Fire by half a length in 1min 08.40sec, just out­side the track record on the Good 3 sur­face. It was his sec­ond High­way Hand­i­cap win from 10 starts and now Muswell­brook trainer Todd Howlett will try to win with him in town.

“I’ve waited for these High­ways and they’ve been good to me,” Howlett said. “We might try a mid­week now he’s out of these High­way races.

“You never know, we might have a crack at a Satur­day race out of sea­son. He’s just run good time and the 1200m to 1400m will be good for him.”

Nic’s Ven­detta is a half-brother to Prob­lem Solver and all of his wins have come sec­ond-up. “Maybe I should put him back out,” Howlett joked. “I thought he might start over­do­ing it then Hughie (Bow­man on Ori On Fire) went to the front and he started to travel the whole way.’’

Howlett didn’t tell ap­pren­tice Mikayla Weir she had the ride on the Nic­coni fiveyear-old, but just let her see her name next to the horse when nom­i­na­tions came out.

“It’s good for her to be able to kick a goal and hope­fully she keeps win­ning,’’ Howlett said.

“These races are ex­cel­lent for coun­try train­ers. The coun­try train­ers are al­ways out the back (in the stalls) help­ing each other out on these days.”

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