Nikitas will be set for the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas as he joins Waller this spring

 

QUEENSLAND colt Nikitas has been transferred to the all-conquering Chris Waller stable and will target the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas this spring.

Part-owner Nev Morgan confirmed the move yesterday with the former Kelso Wood-trained colt set to be aimed at Group 1s in both Sydney and Melbourne this spring.

It comes as the Victorian-based Woodside Park Stud paid $1 million for a quarter share in Nikitas after his second-placed finish in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic earlier this year.

“There is a little clause in (Woodside Park’s) contract that says the horse has to race in those better races and we had a meeting with Kelso and he realised that the best plan would be to send it down there and give it a preparation in Sydney,” Morgan said.

“He will probably target the Golden Rose (over 1400m in Sydney on September 10) and the Caulfield Guineas (over 1600m in Melbourne on October 8) but once again he has to do something early in the campaign down there and if not we will bring him back up here for the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.”

Nikitas was the early favourite for the JJ Atkins following his Magic Millions performance but the soon-to-be three year old failed to have a major impact this winter.

He finished third in the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes but was unplaced in the Champagne Classic and JJ Atkins either side of that performance.

Morgan admits Nikitas was “pretty disappointing” this winter but is hopeful he can shape up down south this spring.

Meanwhile, exciting Queensland filly Criquette is back in work and could be aimed at a southern spring campaign.

The Wood-trained filly hasn’t been sighted since winning a two-year-old handicap in arrogant fashion on debut at Doomben on October 10.

Criquette was ruled out of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic after suffering a suspensory injury last October and Morgan, whose wife Jenny owns a share in the filly, is hopeful the talented sprinter can make up for lost time this spring.

“She is back in work and she is looking a million dollars,” Morgan said.

“We left her out longer than we needed to because we didn’t want to rush her back for the winter carnival.

“I anticipate Kelso would be mapping out a plan for her and she will have a couple of starts up here first but hopefully she can stand up and we might be able to take her south.”

Wood said Criquette has been back in work for one week and had furnished into a beautiful filly.

“We will just how she goes before we make any plans,” he said.

Criquette defeated subsequent Saturday city winners Happy Event and Itz Alrite comfortably on debut.

 

Story courtesy Brad Davidson  Gold Coast Bulletin

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