Nakeeta – no lead-up

Nakeeta – no lead-up

Horse name: Nakeeta

Age: 6

Sex: Gelding

Trainer: Iain Jardine

Owner: Alex and Janet Card

Country: England

Handicap: 53kgs

Formline: Ebor Handicap

Distance Query?: No


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Notes: Nakeeta had been a well known and slightly underperfomed handicapper from Scotland, until his maiden Group 1 win in the Ebor Handicap at York just last week over 2800m. Before this career best triumph, he hadn’t managed a win since 2015.

At face value his formlines don’t read overly well for this year’s Melbourne Cup, but it’s interesting that the time of the race this year was only just shy of what Heartbreak City posted last year (carrying almost the same weight) on a similar surface when winning by four lengths.

The now sadly ill fated Heartbreak City of course then went on to run a gallant second in the 2016 Melbourne Cup to Almandin.

Runner-up to Nakeeta in the Ebor was the up and coming Flymetothestars, who had been building a solid record coming into the race, and the pair did put a two length margin on the rest of the field. See the finish here:

It is of some concern that the horse has failed to win in eight starts beyond 3000m, but on the other had he has run four placings, with three of those at 3200m and beyond. His age of six looks a positive in view of Melbourne cup winners in the modern era.

Quite rightly, connections have thrown their hat in the ring for the Melbourne Cup.

He’s a handicapper and won’t want much weight at all to be considered, but needs enough to get into the field. The Ebor should be easily good enough to get him into the top 24, but we don’t see him unless Greg Carpenter doesn’t load him up too much. Anything more than 55kgs might be too much for this guy – 54kgs or so looks about right given his mixed form.

Here’s two comments from the winning jockey and trainer of Nakeeta, after the Ebor:

Jockey Cal Rodriguez: “He’s better coming through horses. When he gets to the front he doesn’t do a lot and I probably got there a bit too soon. I was a little bit worried but he saw it out well.”

Trainer Iain Jardine: “He’s come close so many times he deserves this, I’m so glad he’s won one.

“He’s a hold-up horse and needs cover. When the favourite came at him, I knew he’d stay on strongly. He’s been unlucky in the past but it all worked out today.”

And his Jardine’s latest comments on considering coming down:

“We have to have a good chat with all involved, the owners, there’s a lot to think about. But it’s definitely on the cards,” Jardine said.

“The entry’s there, we can definitely have it as an option.

“We’re having a good long hard think about it.

“I suppose one thing is you wouldn’t have too many horses in a lifetime to take you to that type of race, so we’ll decide soon.”

One consideration is that the horse hadn’t travelled long distance before.

“It is difficult to say. He doesn’t seem to sweat when he goes into the horse box to races, he’s quite a sensible little horse and he’s had experience travelling around, and going to Ireland.

“Travel can take a wee bit out of a horse, but he’s a fairly good traveller, so we would just have to see.

“I wouldn’t be put off by that.”