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Chris Waller will saddle Nikitas through the forthcoming Spring Racing Carnival, after the rising three-year-old was transferred to his care from Queensland-based trainer Kelso Wood this week.
Nikitas has fast stamped himself as one to watch through a short but competitive racing career so far, but returned to the paddock after failing to make anything of an impact and eleventh in the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) during the recent Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Citing the lack of appropriate targets for the colt north of the border, Waller told AAP he is pleased with have taken Nikitas into his Sydney stables and underlined the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in September as a possible spring target.
“There are not many options for him in Queensland and the owners want to get him ready for the Golden Rose and the other big three-year-old races,” Waller said.
“We’ve got stables at Flemington and Rosehill so it makes it easier and opens up the options for those races.”
Nikitas charged home to win the Canadian Club Handicap (1200m) at Doomben by more than five lengths on December 5th, and made a credible transition to black type company when third in the Group 3 McLachlan Stakes (1200m) on the Gold Coast on Boxing Day.
Rated only an outside chance of success in the Gold Coast Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas (1200m) on January 9th, the Snitzel colt produced a good turn of foot from the outset and set the pace; maintaining an impressive run to finish second only to subsequent Golden Slipper champion Capitalist.
Trialling well in the lead-up to his winter return, Nikitas clearly required a run when failing to run on and eighth in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) first-up on May 14th, but responded well for third in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) a fortnight later, in what was his only other start prior to the JJ Atkins.
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