Dual acceptor Nikitas will take his place in the Listed $120,000 Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday after failing to gain a spot on a flight to the Gold Coast.
Nikitas was also an acceptor in the $1m Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on the weekend but the Darren Weir trained four year old remained stranded in Melbourne after no spot was available on the last suitable flight to the Gold Coast on Thursday night.
Instead of running for a winning purse of $600,000, Nikitas could only pick up $72,000 if he was able to make it two wins from his last three starts.
Apprentice Ben Allen takes the ride on Nikitas who will jump from one from the outside in the field that has been reduced to eleven runners following the early scratching of Upside Rock.
The Snitzel entire was a winner two starts back in a 1400m BenchMark 90 Handicap at Morphettville Parks on December 16 before running fourth to Wise Hero in the $120,000 Straight Draw BenchMark 78 Handicap (1400m) with 60.5kg on New Year‘s Day.
Nikitas has been marked at $12 for the Chester Manifold Stakes in a wide betting race at Ladbrokes.com.au that has the in-form Dollar For Dollar as the $3.70 favourite, one of six runners under the $10 mark.
The Tony McEvoy trained Dollar For Dollar has earned his spot at the top of the market order after finding the winner’s stall at his last four starts which includes a last start win at Group 3 level in the $150,000 Sandown Stakes (1500m) at Sandown at the end of the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Stable foreman Michael Shepherdson has reported that Dollar For Dollar has freshened up well since his last start win and is primed for a successful return to the race track.
“He’s in great shape,” McEvoy’s Melbourne stable foreman Michael Shepherdson told AAP.
“He’s built up a good record and gone through his grades ideally, and that culminated in a Group Three win last preparation.
“Straight after that race, this was the race in mind for him.”