Nichols Stitch’s Up 2014 Sandown Guineas Target

A tidy win at Sandown on Wednesday from Caulfield Guineas nominee Stitch Me Up has trainer Shane Nichols confident they can be a competitive force in November’s Sandown Guineas 2014 this spring.

The Mornington-based horseman yesterday paid the nomination fee for his Choisir gelding Stitch Me Up in the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) running on October 11 this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

While that race would be the dream assignment for the mid-week winning three-year-old, Nichols knows the $300,000 Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on November 15 is the more realistic target for Stitch Me Up who won at the track today.

On debut the $10,000 bargain buy raced in a 2YO maiden at Sale on July 20, run on a Heavy (10), and overraced eventually crossing six lengths away fourth behind Berlutti.

Their second run showed a much improved effort where on a firmer track (Dead 5) they and jockey Daniel Stackhouse managed to beat home the Hawkes-trained Karigara ($7.50) as a $14 outsider in the $25,000 Nine West Plate (1300m) despite an uneven run.

That was the first positive step towards better spring assignments this coming carnival, Nichols yet to totally rule out Caulfield Guineas ambitions, saying either the Sandown Guineas or the $200,000 Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) the fortnight before would make a nice aim.

“I think he’s got enough natural ability that there’s a really nice race in him at some stage,” Nichols said post-win on Wednesday.

“He’s won here today, so we might give him a little freshen up – we’ll see how he comes through this first – but there might be a race on a big track for him during the Carnival over a mile or something like that, but the autumn is probably his go.

“He might be better in a Carbine Club or a Sandown Guineas or something like that this time around. That way he can have a bit longer off.”

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