A lightly-raced three-year-old brown filly from the same dam as one of Sydney’s most-loved sprinters looks one of the best placed and weighted runners at Monday’s feature meeting.
Nicconi Lass, from the local John Sprague stable and well into her first real campaign, is out of the now 24-year-old Hot ‘N’ Breezy, mother of the champion sprinter and former dual group 1 and triple group 2 winner Hot Danish which wore the famous red-and-green Rabbitohs-like colours from her Randwick base.
Fast forward a decade and while Nicconi Lass won’t be another Hot Danish she looks primed to claim her second career win in a class 1 handicap over 1000m to close the seven-race card.
The daughter of Nicconi, which made her debut last August at Kempsey before a long break, returned to win her maiden stylishly from the front second-up at Coffs Harbour before just missing at the same track in a BM58, and then feeling the pressure late in similar grade at Grafton two weeks ago. But that day in stronger company she carried a hefty 59kg, and today after Liam Blanch’s 3kg claim she’ll line up under only 53.5kg and drawn to get a cosy run on the speed.
Rival local filly Apache Belle who also comes off a fair run in a similar class 1 at Grafton looks the hardest to beat.
Earlier, leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees can open with a bang, saddling up first starter and well-bred two-year-old Control The Witness off two easy trials in a thin-looking maiden handicap (Race 1) for the boys over 1200m, before improving and fast-finishing filly Airlie Avenue, by all-conquering Zoustar out of a New Approach mare, looks well placed third-up in the fillies and mares maiden (race 2) over 1200m.
And spare a thought for the honest and dedicated who finish behind the winner in Race 3 — a maiden plate over 1500m. From a combined 93 starts there are just five placings between them, but local three-year-old filly Yulong Jupiter third-up at the longer trip looks the most likely despite drawing a wide barrier.