Cameron Crockett concedes a tilt at midweek metropolitan company is on the agenda for Nictock after the gelding won his fourth race from five starts at Wellington on Tuesday.
The three-year-old gave his rivals weight but still gave them a beating as he took out the Wellington Hotel Class 3 Handicap (900m).
Nobody rides the tight Wellington circuit better than Greg Ryan, and he was at his patient best on Nictock ($1.50 fav).
After letting early leaders Ace Lightning ($14.00, Andrew Banks) and I’m Imogen ($4.80, Jake Pracey-Holmes) go, Nictock tucked in and got a cosy run in third place.
But when I’m Imogen started to hang out approaching the home turn, Ryan elected to go for a run between the two leaders and it paid dividends.
Nictock shot through and established a lead, and held off I’m Imogen which balanced up and hit the line well to be beaten a length.
Bernie’s Desert ($81.00, Ken Dunbar) sprinted well fresh to finish in third place.
The time for the 900m trip was a slick 51.16s, and Crockett said he was happy to see the gelding bounce back from a first-up third placing at Randwick on a bog track.
“He goes good. He’s a racehorse, that’s the best thing about him he just knuckles down and wants to win,” Crockett told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the race.
“I can’t say I was really confident with the weight (60.5kg) and coming back to the 900m but that confidence will do him good.
“We said if he won we’d give him a crack at midweeks at Canterbury over 1100m or 1250m but The Championships next year would have to be in the back of our minds.”
Ryan was also impressed by the Nicconi x Ready To Rumba gelding’s effort.
“Cameron has freshened him up nicely from the Highway race to the 900m,” he said.
“I’m Imogen gave me a nice cart through the race and then she hung two or three times down the hill and gave me a run.”
Crockett now aims for more wins over the weekend, as his horses attend Rosehill Gardens for the Australia Turf Club meet, as well as the Scone meet.
Barbass will be riding in the Rosehill Gardens fourth race of the day, with $100,000 on the line.
Artistic Beauty and Letchworth are his nominations for the Scone event, with the later racing in the seventh race of the afternoon while Artistic Beauty is closing out the day in Race 8.