2016 Caulfield Guineas a Target for Nikitas

July 12th, 2016

Talented Queensland colt Nikitas has been transferred to the care of leading trainer Chris Waller for the forthcoming Spring Carnival, and will reportedly be set for major middle distance races including the 2016 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

Nikitas will be set for the 2016 Caulfield Guineas upon resuming in spring. Photo: Daniel Costello

Nikitas will be set for the 2016 Caulfield Guineas upon resuming in spring. Photo: Daniel Costello

Nikitas began his racing career under the guidance of veteran trainer Kelso Wood at Eagle Farm in late 2015 and immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow via a number of impressive performances against particularly smart fields.

Returning to the paddock after failing to fire and eleventh in the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) most recently on June 11th, part-owner Nev Morgan told the Gold Coast Bulletin that the lack of appropriate targets for the Snitzel colt ultimately led to his transfer to Waller’s stables, with a view towards the 2016 Caulfield Guineas.

“There is a little clause in (Woodside Park’s) contract that says the horse has to race in those better races and we had a meeting with Kelso and he realised that the best plan would be to send it down there and give it a preparation in Sydney,” Morgan said.

“He will probably target the Golden Rose (1400m, September 10) and the Caulfield Guineas (October 8) but once again he has to do something early in the campaign down there and if not we will bring him back up here for the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.”

Nikitas immediately announced himself to the Australian racing community upon debuting for a five length win in the Canadian Club Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on December 5th, and made a credible transition to black type company when third in the Group 3 McLachlan Stakes (1200m) second-up on Boxing Day.

Returning to the paddock after finishing second behind subsequent Golden Slipper champion Capitalist in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas (1200m) on January 9th, Nikitas clearly required a run when returning in spring for eighth in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m), but responded well for third in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) on May 28th, in what was his only other start prior to the JJ Atkins.

Capitalist remains an outright $5 favourite in early 2016 Caulfield Guineas betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, ahead of El Divino and Extreme Choice (both $11).