JOHN Thompson will go to Randwick with “a bit of confidence” this Saturday when emerging mare Nieta makes her much-anticipated return to the track.
The four-year-old progressed from a Class 2 win to a luckless second in the Listed Starlight Stakes last campaign and Thompson feels she is primed for a first-up victory in the Benchmark 90 Handicap (1000m) at Randwick.
“She has had a good spell and she seems to be going well,” the Sydney trainer said.
“Her trials have been good without stretching her too much and I’m happy going into Saturday.
“It was disappointing to get beat (in the June Stakes) but she went super and we were happy to go out on that note.”
Nieta is two from two first-up and Thompson feels she will keep her unbeaten fresh record intact.
“She seems to be back and refreshed and ready to go again,” he said.
“Track conditions don’t matter (this weekend) because she handles wet and dry and she goes well first-up.
“The 1000m is perfect and we’re going in with a bit of confidence.”
Thompson is keeping his options open with Nieta but said another crack at stakes grade was definitely on the agenda.
“We will just take it one run at a time but the first goal is the Ortensia Stakes second-up at Scone (on May 13),” he said.
“There’s the June Stakes (at Randwick on June 10) which will (probably be the target) after Scone but we will just see how we are going.”
Thompson is also likely to saddle up Dreamforce in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m) at Randwick.
The four-year-old was unlucky not to win first-up at Newcastle and Thompson is just hoping the rain stays away this weekend.
“He was a bit stiff there (at Newcastle) and we just need the weather to stay dry because he doesn’t go real good on wet tracks,” he said.
“We just have to hope the track dries out a bit.”
Originally published as First-up specialist Nieta primed for win
SOURCE: newsnow sport