No longer plain Jane, Nakeeta ready for G1 challenge

4 min read

By Bren O'Brien

Having caused a minor upset at her first start for the preparation in the G2 Light Fingers S., Nakeeta Jane (So You Think {NZ}) is ready to take further improvement into Saturday's G1 Surround S. at Randwick, according to her trainer Mark Newnham.

Having progressed from a Warwick Farm maiden to finish a close-up third in the G1 Flight S. last preparation, Nakeeta Jane showed further improvement when she charged home to claim her maiden stakes success at just her fourth start last time out.

For a filly tipped to be competitive in a Vinery Stud S. or an Australian Oaks, it was a surprise even for Newnham to see her win a Group 2 race over 1200m.

"It was very impressive to see her do that over 1200m first-up," he told Sky Racing. "She hasn’t gone backwards from the run."

"She's fined down a little bit more from the other day. I was happy with the way she paraded. For a 1200m first up she had enough improvement in her for the rest of the preparation. If she can sprint as well second up at the 1400m, she should he hard to hold out," he said.

"If she can sprint as well second up at the 1400m, she should he hard to hold out." - Trainer, Mark Newnham

Named because of her plain nature as a yearling, and rejected from the sales because of an offset knee, she was retained to race by GT Park, who now have one of the most exciting 3-year-old fillies in the country.

Her rise has mirrored that of her trainer, who will be looking for his second Group 1 on Saturday when he takes both Nakeeta and G1 VRC Oaks runner-up Greysful Glamour (Stratum) to Randwick.

The two fillies worked together over the 1000m on the course proper at Warwick Farm earlier this week, with very little between them on the line.

Nakeeta Jane at Randwick

Greysful Glamour finished eighth in the Light Fingers, but Newnham was rapt with what he saw from a filly he expects not so show her best until she gets beyond the mile later this preparation.

"I was surprised she went as good as she did first-up. She probably had the toughest run in the race and was only beaten 2.5 lengths," he said.

"Previously she has taken up to a mile plus to show her best." - Mark Newnham

"Previously she has taken up to a mile plus to show her best. That was the case last preparation, she won when she got to 1800m. Whether that was her fresh run and she's going to look for further Saturday, we'll see."

"She's such a genuine filly, I'm sure she will run well anyway."

Newnham confirmed the fillies would likely split paths after Saturday, with Greysful Glamour headed to the G2 Kembla Grange Classic on March 15, while Nakeeta Jane will go to either the G1 Coolmore Classic or the G2 Phar Lap S. the following day at Rosehill.

Greysful Glamour

They would then likely meet in the G1 Vinery S. a fortnight later before a decision is made whether to send them to the G1 Australian Oaks on April 13.

Meanwhile, Super Oasis (Exceed and Excel) will be looking to secure a spot in the G1 Golden Slipper when she contests the G2 Sweet Embrace S. on Saturday.

The filly was beaten by boom colt Sun Patch (Exceed And Excel) at her first start in a recent Randwick midweek maiden and Newnham still thinks she is capable of being competitive against the better 2-year-olds.

"She's a good, above-average filly who deserves her shot at this level," he said.

"It’s generally a race a filly on the up can win and then we are three weeks into the Golden Slipper."