Brisbane horseman Kelso Wood has confirmed the 2016 Magic Millions 2YO Classic mission at the Gold Coast on January 9 for his promising colt Nikitas who won on debut at Doomben over the weekend.
A nicely-bred son of Snitzel the two-year-old had his maiden run in the $65,000 Canadian Club QTIS Two-Years-Old Handicap (1200m) on December 5 where he had the outside barrier 13 of 13 draw to overcome.
Ridden by Michael Cahill he kicked off his career in the best possible fashion enjoying an impressive and commanding four and three-quarter length victory as the $2.50 favourite over the Les Ross-trained Mishani Silva who had made two previous trips to the races.
Cahill took Nikitas, a $280,000 buy for connections, straight to the front from the wide gate and the youngster was able to lead all the way before extending late for the big winning margin.
“We hoped from the wide gate he’d get in to two or three back behind the pace but he was too good for them,” Wood told Racing Queensland after the win.
It was the ideal first-up run for Nikitas according to the Eagle Farm-based Wood who hopes the horse can stack-up next month in the famous $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).
Wood was also quick to make comparisons to former star juvenile Sizzling who won at Eagle Farm on debut back in 2011 by six lengths before a string of impressive runs including a Magic Millions Classic fourth to Driefontein and a Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1600m) victory in the winter of 2012.
Nikitas is part-owned by David Devine and Neville Morgan of Kermadec and the late Rangirangdoo fame, Devine having had a share of Sizzling also.
All-in Magic Millions 2YO Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au has the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Sydney raider Capitalist installed as the clear $3.50 favourite.
The son of Written Tycoon won his debut back on October 3 with an effortless three length victory in the Listed Breeders Plate (1000m) at Randwick.
This week the colt trialled at Rosehill on Tuesday morning and was in flying form late again running away over 900m to win the heat by four lengths.
Second favourite in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic odds at $7 is the Tony Gollan-trained Zelady’s Night Out who won over 1050m at Doomben in her first run by four and a half lengths on November 14.
She backs up with another Doomben run this Saturday in the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1050m) taking on fellow Magic Millions hopeful The Last Kiss, Steven O’Dea’s daughter of Sebring also out to retain her undefeated record after success over 1100m at the track on November 21.
Nikitas meanwhile is the $8 third fancy for the $2 million classic this Queensland Summer Racing Carnival where Wood shoots for his second win after the success of Real Surreal in 2013.
Wood came close to his first Magic Millions Classic trophy many years earlier but his first-past-the-post Prince Regent lost the 1988 edition on protest.
Earlier this season Wood had Criquette picked out as his best hope in the $2 million January feature following her big all-the-way win at Doomben on October 10.
The I Am Invincible filly went amiss soon after however when she injured her leg and was sent to the paddock, giving even more meaning to the weekend win of Wood’s new number one Nikitas.
A half-brother to VRC Oaks winner Jameka, Nikitas is set to race next-up in the $150,000 Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day.
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