Trainer Graeme Murray is adamant there is more to lightly raced mare Nicci’s Song than her speed, but that’s the asset likely to serve her well at her metropolitan debut at Newcastle on Wednesday.
The ATC meeting was transferred away from Randwick to give the two tracks there a rest and the Vinery Stud Handicap became a 900m scamper which, at this stage of her career, is right in the mare’s wheelhouse.
“She is starting to settle in her races and I think she will run a strong 1200m eventually in her career,” Murray said.
“But she’s a speed horse at the moment, I’ve restricted her to 1000m races while she’s a filly that’s still learning. At the moment I let her run and let her learn herself.
“When we broke her in she showed she had a bit of ability. I thought she’d settle a bit more but she’s a highly strung filly, so we’ve restricted her to 1000m.”
Nicci’s Song has won four of her eight starts. But if you take away her first two starts at 1100m where she settled well off the speed her record when using her pace reads four wins and a second from six starts.
So you can understand Murray allowing the four-year-old to do what’s clearly suiting her best at the moment as she works her way through the grades away from the city.
Jeff Penza continues his association with Nicci’s Song, having been on board in her past two wins, the latest an all-the-way 3¼ length victory at Goulburn on July 30.
Murray said he expects the mare to take advantage of an inside barrier. She has already proven to be as effective on a good track as she was in the wet first-up.