New Plymouth trainer Gary McBeth is looking forward to lining up his pride and joy Hi I’m Nikkita in the South Taranaki Club Egmont Cup (2100m) at Hawera on Saturday.
The five-year-old mare finished runner-up in the Road To The Jericho (3210m) at her home track last start and McBeth said if she had found clear racing room she may have booked her ticket across the Tasman for the marathon feature.
“The jockey (Hazel Schofer) said they were three strides too late in getting out,” McBeth said. “She has come through it well, it hasn’t done her any harm at all.”
McBeth is heading into this weekend quietly confident, but admitted the firmer track, rated a Dead4 on Friday morning, is a bit of an unknown for his charge.
“She is fit and well, and the only thing that I am concerned about is the track will be quite firm, so we will find out how she goes on a firmer track,” he said.
“She is a horse that always tries and I think she will run a good race.
“I am happy with her and she has done everything right, so I am looking forward to a good run from her.”
Hi I’m Nikkita has drawn the outside in the 16 horse field and will be ridden by Tony Allan.
She has been opened as a $9 chance on Saturday, behind Beauty Star ($4.80), Gorbachev ($5), William Wallace and Collinstreet (both at $6.50).