Trainer Kelso Wood has a long association with the connections of two-year-old Nikitas and hopes it continues in the Group One J J Atkins Stakes.
Wood has lost count of the winners he has had for Nikitas’ owners, a syndicate headed by well known Brisbane businessmen David Divine and Neville Morgan.
The veteran trainer has been aiming Nikitas at the Atkins from the day he stormed home to win his first start at Doomben last December.
“Nikitas showed his class when he was second to Capitalist in the Magic Millions. That form looks pretty good now with Capitalist winning the Golden Slipper,” Wood said.
“I have said all along that Nikitas was a horse looking for a big track and 1400 to 1600 metres. His run in the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes when third two weeks ago showed that again.
“He finished better than anything else in the race.
“I would be disappointed if he didn’t run well.”
Nikitas is by Snitzel, the sire of Sizzling who won the 2012 J J Atkins for Wood and the same owners.
“I go back a long way with David Devine who has been a great supporter of mine. I have lost count of the winners we have had,” Wood said.
“Neville Morgan has also been a great supporter and he has had a lot of luck in Group One races with horses such as Kermadec, Rangirangdoo and Sizzling.
“Let’s hope his luck continues on Saturday.”
Favourite for the J J Atkins is New Zealander Sacred Elixir who ran a slashing final 600m when sixth in the BRC Sires’ Produce.
Trainer Tony Pike said he believed Sacred Elixir would be much better suited at 1600m and on the bigger Eagle Farm circuit.
Darci Brahma in 2005 is the only New Zealander to win the race in the past 30 years.