Even more so after race three at the Wyong races held on Thursday 16th May 2019. NICCIROSE a three-year-old bay gelding by Nicconi out of a Rubiton mare in Rubirose left the red-hot ,odds-on favourite, the Waterhouse / Bott - trained Embracer in his wake in the closing stages.
What the owners, a group of ladies including Lucy, wife of trainer Scott and some wives and partners of long time clients also loved was NICCIROSE’s starting price … $31. It was their horse’s best performance of his eight start career.
After the gelding’s last run, Scott identified that a short freshen up might be required. NICCIROSE has spent a fair bit of time swimming, the trainer also decided that a gear change would help, taking the horse’s nose roll off and applying winkers … these decisions certainly produced a fine result.
The Wyong track looked in great order, rated a Good 4, the rail in the true position. The meeting would be held under fine, sunny skies … a perfect autumn day. Jockey Christian Reith was in the saddle and NICCIROSE had drawn one from the outside in barrier eight.
Due to an odds-on favourite being in the race, Embracer ($1.09) and the punters investing heavily late on that horse, NICCIROSE was a drifter in the betting opening at $21 and getting out to $31 when they jumped.
The plan was in place, the favourite would jump and lead, that horse had drawn two gates inside of NICCIROSE and if Christian and his mount jumped on terms, come across and park outside the Waterhouse / Bott-trained horse, keeping that colt aware of your presence, inexperience under race conditions may be their undoing.
Christian followed orders to the letter. NICCIROSE jumped well, as did Embracer and those two horses made their way across to the fence simultaneously. At the 1100 metres mark there was a three length margin to the rest of the field.
With 900 metres still to run NICCIROSE’s jockey eased his horse slightly, just enough to let the bold frontrunner know they were still there and being a bit of a pest. With that marginal drop in tempo the rest of the field were reducing the margin to the leaders.
Passing the 600 metres, Harry’s Comet was making a dash three wide and got within three quarters of a length, 200 metres later that run ended with that horse dropping off sharply. NICCIROSE was beginning to get serious and had drawn level with the short-priced favourite, who was now being pushed along vigorously.
NICCIROSE seemed to be doing it comfortably as Christian issued the challenge. Once balanced in the straight the jockey said go … and go they did, lengthening the leading margin with every stride. The $1.09 shot had had enough, his jockey putting away the whip 200 metres out.
A few brandishes of the persuader to maintain momentum and victory was their’s. With ears pricked NICCIROSE coasted past the post, the official winning margin ? … 4.54 lengths.
Geez !!! that was some performance. Well done to trainer Scott, your owners are so fortunate that you are so in touch with your horses and to Christian for carrying out the plan, a masterful ride.
Of course, many sincere congratulations go to the ladies in the ownership, you’re probably loving a ‘rose’ even more … thanks NICCIROSE for keeping the romance alive.