Darwin trainer Chris Nash, refreshed after spending time with family in Adelaide over the festive period, welcomes back the impressive Son Of Bielski at Fannie Bay on Friday.
The seven-year-old gelding, who won three straight races in October, lines up over 1100m in 0-76 grade.
Nash has eyed the $40,000 St Patrick’s Day Cup (1600m) on March 16 with Son Of Bielski, and should he make a serious impact there, it’s off to the Red Centre for the $110,000 Alice Springs Cup (2000m) on April 7.
When he arrived from South Australia, the son of Dissident finished fifth in a Benchmark 54 over 1100m in September before wins over 1300m at BM54 and 0-64 level, and over 1600m against 0-70 class.
“I was always aware that Son Of Bieliski had ability, so when he popped up on the market I bought him,” Nash said.
“I think he will find those horses a bit sharp on Friday; however, he’s work has been sensational and he might surprise fresh.
“Just look for him to be closing the race off well and taking a bit of fitness benefit out of it.
“He’ll have another run and then into the St Paddy’s Cup — that’s the race I’ve tagged for him.
“Depending on how he goes there, especially with changes to the Alice Springs Cup Carnival, it’s a quick turnaround before the Alice Springs Cup on April 7.
“He’d obviously have to win or run a slashing St Paddy’s Cup to justify going to Alice.”
After nine New Zealand starts for a debut win and four minor placings, Son Of Bielski continued to race for former legendary Darwin trainer Stephen Brown, who is based near Seymour.
In 13 Victorian starts, the gelding was placed on three occasions before he was sent to SA, where he had eight starts for Murray Bridge trainers Will Clarken and Niki O’Shea.
That included two wins at Morphettiville Parks over 1550m against BM62 opposition last June before saluting over 1400m in 0-64 class in July.
Nash owns the horse and after proving competitive in Victoria he decided to send him to SA before relocating to the Top End.
“I wanted Will to give him a bit of a test in town first and he won two Saturday races,” Nash said.
“Rather than bringing him straight to Darwin, I gave Will a call to see whether he’d like to try him in Adelaide first, which he did.
“That proved a successful exercise and then I was ready for him to come to me.”
Nash’s impressive sprinter Ideas Man won three straight in September after finishing second in the $135,000 Palmerston Sprint (1200m) in early August.
Ideas Man might win the Palmerston this year and perhaps the $100,000 Pioneer Sprint (1200m) in Alice Springs on April 6 if he heads south, but right now Nash is excited about Son Of Bielski.
“He has ability and found his niche really quickly up here,” he said.
“He’s not your typical Darwin sort of horse, he settles off the speed a bit and works into his races.
“He probably wants that 1600m trip, but he was good enough in those lower grade races to win a couple of shorter races.”
Meanwhile, Nash’s six-year-old gelding Mr Have A Chat makes his NT debut on Friday in the same race as Son Of Bielski.
I’m All The Talk’s son had 18 starts in Victoria for Cranbourne trainer John Price for three wins and four minor placings before having 16 starts in SA for Goolwa trainer David Jolly for two wins and five minor placings.
He had three starts in late 2023, and in his final appearance for Jolly, the gelding finished fifth over 1200m in a BM64 event at Morphettville on December 30.
“I tried to buy him a while ago, I’m pretty good mates with David Jolly,” Nash said.
“I rang David and the horse wasn’t for sale, but it obviously planted the seed with him that it would be suited up here.
“I was happy to get a call off David a couple of months ago to say that he thought it was the right time to send the horse to Darwin.
“I didn’t buy him and he remains in the same ownership group, Grand Syndicates, which are quite a big syndication.
“This will be their first Darwin runner, so hopefully we can get off the mark with a winner.
“He’s ready to go and he’s had a few runs in Adelaide, so he came to me very fit.
“I haven’t trialled him, but he’s had a good gallop on the track.
“I’m not concerned about his fitness because I’ve got him after a couple of runs into a prep.”