Former Perth super filly Night War is gearing up to make her 2012 debut for new trainer Mick Price when she takes on a class field in the Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield in Melbourne this Saturday.
Previously prepared in WA by Simon Miller the three-year-old daughter of General Nediym, a half-sister to Price’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Samaready, hasn’t raced since her good one length win in the Perth Magic Millions 3YO Stakes (1400m) at Ascot back in early February.
The Magic Millions triumph was Night War’s fifth win from nine starts, the progressive galloper also boasting dual Group victories.
She broke her black type maiden status at just her fourth start when surviving a protest to take out the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m) last March.
Her other major triumph came in the Group 3 Lee Steer Classic (1400m) in December.
On Saturday she will be looking to fry a whole new kettle of fish, Night War’s real talent to be discovered when she runs up against two former Group 1 winners in the $100,000 Listed Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).
Night War is ideally in barrier six with Craig Newitt, Samaready’s regular rider aboard for her five career wins including the Blue Diamond win and Golden Slipper third, to ride.
She is also well liked in the early Sir John Monash Stakes betting markets at bookmaker.com.au paying $9, Peter Moody’s untapped filly Le Societe ($5) the current favourite.
Other single-figure chances in the Monash Stakes odds include Creswick Stakes runner-up Zamorar ($7), last year’s Oakleigh Plate champ Eagle Falls ($8) and the fellow Price-trained Tariana ($9.50) to get a gun run from gate two as the Anabaa mare vies for her second straight win at the track and distance.
Newitt, gunning for his first Victorian Metropolitan Jockeys’ Premiership success this season, is excited to partner with a relative of Samaready and hopes Night War can also provide him with turf glory despite her diminutive size.
“She’s very tiny, she’s one of the smallest three-year-olds we’ve got, but her form’s impeccable,” Newitt said.
“She’s got a stack of ability, she’s earnt (sic) nearly $600,000 in prize money, so the form’s there to stack up.”
While her form and class aren’t to be denied Night War will still have her work cut out for her as she meets Group 1 champs Green Birdie and Eagle Falls just 2.5kg better under the weight-for-age conditions of the race.
“She’s not very well handicapped at weight-for-age, but she’s very quick and has drawn a good gate,” Newitt said.
“She trialled really good here (Caulfield) on Tuesday morning and I’m sure she’ll run a really good race.”
Night War, who has to date won $572,421 in prize money, was transferred to Price’s care after new connections Vinery Stud purchased her for $350,000 at the Vinery Stud broodmare sales earlier in the year, a smart investment according to Price.
“I have no doubt she will repay her purchase price so it’s a smart piece of business,” he said.
“She has come to me sound and her record is terrific.
“In the past 12 months, her pedigree page has really become excellent with the two horses putting plenty of black type on it.
“She’ll earn some of her price on the racetrack and will certainly make her money back when she goes to stud. She’s a great buy at $350,000.”
There is a chance however that Night War could be scratched from the Monash Stakes with Caulfield currently rated a Slow (7) with more rain to fall before the weekend.
“With the likelihood of a heavy track, we’ll have to look at it but there’s a good option for her if she doesn’t run in the Monash Stakes,” Price said.
“We could run her over 1000 metres at Flemington next Saturday.
“We’ll have to decide on that.”
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