Nictock faces credential test for step up

Cameron Crockett should have a clearer idea if Nictock warrants a return to Sydney for a Saturday meeting after he runs at Warwick Farm.

The Mudgee-based trainer toyed with bringing the four-year-old back to Rosehill or Randwick after his city debut in a Highway Handicap in June, but instead erred on the side of caution.

Following his last-start midweek win at Canterbury in July, Nictock’s connections were keen for a weekend away, but Crockett pulled the reins.

“I told them I wasn’t sure he was strong enough for a Saturday race just yet,” Crockett said.

Nictock’s strength will be tested in the Schweppes Handicap (1000m) on Wednesday in which he will carry 61kg.

“His benchmark came back as 70 after Canterbury and I told the owners if he’s going to be a Saturday horse he needs to be able to carry 61 kilos midweek and win,” Crockett said.

Crockett resisted the temptation to use an apprentice and instead has Hugh Bowman aboard the favourite.

“I don’t think anybody in the country would give up Hugh Bowman for three kilos. When we secured him I was happy to go down and give the horse a crack,” Crockett said.

Crockett is confident Nictock, who has been beaten once in six starts when third in the Highway race on a heavy track at Randwick, can carry the weight, pointing to his second-up win at Wellington over 900-metres in mid-July.

“He ran a track record (51.16) with 60 and a half so I don’t see why he can’t speed along over the 1000 with 61,” Crockett said.

Should Nictock notch his sixth career win, Crockett admitted a Saturday assignment loomed as the next task.

“We’ll have our hands forced then because there’ll be no midweek options and I don’t think a horse that goes as well as him should be restricted to open company in the country either,” he said.

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