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Brian Wakefield’s Bradbury’s Luck mare Nuptse will put their 2012 Magic Millions Sprint potential on show at Eagle Farm this Saturday when the progressive four-year-old takes on a crack field of fellow female thoroughbreds in the $80,000 Listed Travel Associates Classic (1200m).
One of 19 nominees for the set weights plus penalties black-type, Nuptse has won three of her seven career starts to date and was last seen running a brave fourth when three lengths off the winner Platinum Choice in the Hylands Kids Colours X’Mas Handicap (1000m) at Warwick Farm on November 19.
Purchased for $80,000 at the 2008 National Select Weanling Sale before passed in for $20,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast QTIS 600 Yearling Sale two years ago, Nuptse is heading towards a possible start in the $200,000 Magic Millions Sprint (1000m) at the Gold Coast on January 14, 2012.
Nuptse could also be on show in some of the lower-grade features of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival next year should things go to plan.
“I won’t aim her for any of the major races but I’m sure she can measure up to some of the good second-tier races,” Wakefield said.
The daughter of 2005 Magic Millions Classic winner Bradbury’s Luck will first race in her maiden black-type assignment at Eagle Farm this Saturday.
Meeting Kelso Wood’s defending Travel Associates Classic winner Zero Rock (57.5kg) three kilos better in the weights, Nuptse is set to carry 54.5kg on Saturday when she returns to her home state after a three-race Sydney prep.
With the Travel Associates Classic field and barriers due out on Wednesday, Wakefield said his biggest concern at this stage being a favourable draw for Nuptse who jumped from double digits (11 of 13) last start.
“I’m more concerned about getting a good barrier,” he said.
The mare’s other two runs in Sydney this season were a narrow victory over Rosie’s Reward in an 1100 metre sprint at Rosehill on October 22 and a close third to Cheap Thrills, also nominated for the Travel Associates Classic but more likely to stay in Sydney for a Rosehill Festival Stakes Day race, over 1200 metres at Randwick on November 5; she jumped from barrier seven for both.
“Unfortunately Nuptse didn’t have much luck with the barriers in Sydney and if she doesn’t draw well tomorrow (for the Travel Associates Classic) then I might save her for another race the following week,” Wakefield said.
“She won well over 1100 metres at Rosehill but she drew the outside of a seven-horse field and was caught three wide when she finished third at Randwick over 1200 metres.
“Last run she had barrier 11 over the 1000 metres and got a long way back and it was too hard for her to pick up the leader.”
While racing in Sydney Nuptse was ridden by Nathan Berry, but Wakefield is currently in search of a replacement hoop that can take the mount in Brisbane.
“I need to find a jockey to replace Nathan Berry who rode her in Sydney,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield said that if accepted and drawn well, Nuptse had the class and ability to take out the race adding to her value as a broodmare for the future.
“It’s a tough race but my mare is fit and well and if she draws well she’ll be able to take up a good spot,” he said.
“I’d love to snare a Listed race wither her now before she eventually goes to stud.”
While the Travel Associates Classic barrier draw is playing on Wakefield’s mind, the Doomben-based horseman is also unsure just how well Nuptse likes the 1200 metres.
She has only been to the distance once, when third at Randwick earlier this month, and how she handles it on Saturday will play a big role in determining her future race plans.
“She’s still a 1200-metre maiden so I suppose that’s a concern,” he said.
One race that is the ideal distance for Nuptse is the 2012 Magic Millions Sprint, one of the feature events of the upcoming BMW Magic Millions Gold Coast Race Day.
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