Fair Nakita prevails for fifth victory
Talented sprinter Fair Nakita improved her record with a fifth win, returning from a short let-up to claim the Tabtouch Better Your Bet Handicap (1230m) for visiting co-trainers Peter and Matt Giadresco in Albany on Sunday.
Albany’s Percy Spencer Racecourse held the transferred seven-race card from Mt Barker and the Giadresco stable only brought two runners across from Bunbury, with Fair Nakita making the trip worthwhile.
Partnered by leading hoop Mitchell Pateman, the five-year-old mare jumped from barrier one and sat midfield before unleashing in the home straight to pull away from the rest of the field with Boxonlucy.
Fair Nakita, a $3.70 favourite, had a terrific battle with Boxonlucy in the final 100m but prevailed by a long neck for Pateman to make it five wins in 26 career starts.
Co-trainer Matt Giadresco said dropping back in class left him confident of Fair Nakita running strongly.
“She trialled up really nice the other day — it was the fastest trial of the day,” Giadresco said.
“She had an interrupted preparation recently and jarred up on the Bunbury track, so after a short let-up she’s come back well.
“She likes this track so we’ll come back here for a 70+ rating race and try and keep the weight off her.”
Albany jockey Casey Hunter used positive tactics in race 2 as Big Summer broke his maiden status at his ninth start.
A $15 chance on the tote, Big Summer led all the way over 1230m as he kicked clear at the top of the straight and beat home Like Him A Bit by 1½ lengths.
It was a third victory of the Great Southern season for trainer Paul Hunter as the four-year-old relished the drop back in distance.
Earlier, promising three-year-old Morgs Freeman won the Trevor’s Carpets Maiden (1100m), sprinting well clear in the final stages for rider Matthieu Autier.
Stewards dismissed a protest in race 1 from Pateman on the fourth-placed horse Mark My Card against the third place-getter Horaan (Daniel Staeck), while Waychinicup was a late scratching in race 5 after breaking through the gates before the start.
Mt Barker officially reached 41C on Sunday, with the Grapes and Gallops meeting postponed until March 17, which includes the Mungrup Stud Sprint.
It was 10C cooler in Albany, with a 31C top registered at Albany Airport.
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