2016 JJ Atkins the Target for Nikitas

April 21st, 2016

Trainer Kelso Wood has been thrilled with the results posted by Nikitas through his short racing career so far and has revealed the 2016 JJ Atkins (1600m) with figure as the major target for the classy two-year-old during the upcoming Brisbane Winter Carnival.

Nikitas will be set for the 2016 JJ Atkins upon resuming in winter. Photo: Daniel Costello

Nikitas will be set for the 2016 JJ Atkins upon resuming in winter. Photo: Daniel Costello

Nikitas is yet to finish outside the first three through his three competitive starts to date, but was undoubtedly at his best when second behind Capitalist in the Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas (1200m) most recently on January 9th.

Wood told The Courier Mail he is thrilled with the condition of the Snitzel colt in the lead-up to his competitive return and underlined the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) as the likely first point of call.

“If for some reason I can’t find another suitable jump out, the he could race on April 30 (Listed Bribie Handicap, 1050m), but I don’t really want to deviate from the original plan,” Wood said.

Wood trained Sizzling to win the 2012 edition of the JJ Atkins, but concedes there are plenty of discernible differences between the two horses.

“Sizzling was a beautiful horse to be around, quiet as a mouse. This fellow is different. If you turn your back on him he won’t hesitate to have a go at you,” Wood added.

Trialling well in the lead-up to his competitive debut, Nikitas immediately stamped himself as one to watch with a commanding performance for a five-length victory in the Canadian Club Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on December 5th.

Jumping from the gates well in the Group 3 McLachlan Stakes (1200m) second-up on December 26th, jockey Michael Cahill allowed the colt to stride forward and take a position on pace; receiving a good run in transit before finishing a credible third.

Again jumping well in the Magic Millions 2.y.o Guineas, Nikitas continued to battle on through the races dying stages and was outclassed only by the subsequent Golden Slipper champion.

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