Cranbourne trainer Nikki Burke doesn’t expect to get luxury odds dished up to her again for her smart mare Nautical when she contests the Group 2 $200,000 Blazer Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Nautical was sent out at the long price of $71 before she rattled home to finish third to Commanding Jewel in the Group 2 $200,000 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13, but Burke wasn’t surprised with that first up effort.
“She’s been flying at home and she couldn’t have trialled any better in her two trials leading into the run,” Burke told Racing.com.
“She’s just in the zone. She’s ticked over really nicely and has taken really good improvement from that run.”
While Burke and Nautical followers won’t be getting ridiculously long odds again, the Niello mare is still marked as a $12 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au in a wide open betting race.
The Nigel Blackiston trained Suavito shares favouritism with Robert Smerdon’s mare Politeness at $5.50 just ahead of Pat Hyland’s Bonaria at $6.50 and Schweppes Oaks winner May’s Dream at $8.50.
Suavito has started favourite at her two runs this campaign and has produced a win and a second over 1400m at Caulfield while Politeness will strip fitter for one run back from a spell when fourth to Girl Guide in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on September 20.
Steven King takes over from Mark Zahra who couldn’t get down to the 54kgs and Burke expects the experienced jockey to settle Nautical in the second half of the field from barrier twelve.
“She gets back anyway but it would have been nice to have drawn a (better) gate so she possibly could have landed midfield, from that gate she’ll go back and hopefully she can slot in front of three or four horses,” Burke said.
“There doesn’t really look to be much genuine speed but sometimes with a big field they can roll along a bit. She’s a mare that does need the pace on to help her out.”
If Nautical happens to win The Blazer Stakes on Saturday, Burke said that she would consider running the mare in the Group 1 $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 1, the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“She’d probably has to win and we’ll worry about that if she was to win,” Burke said.
“She’s probably at her best at a mile (1600m) but there’s heaps of races for her, we’re just taking things one run at a time and we’ll be guided by what she does on Saturday.”
Nautical has won three times and placed on another nine occasions from sixteen starts and has earned over $230,000 in prizemoney for her connections.