Newitt still ahead with pair of doubles

Easy does it: Platelet, with Damian Lane aboard, wins at Caulfield yesterday.CAULFIELD WRAP
Nanjing Night Net

JOCKEY Craig Newitt’s quest to win his first Victorian jockeys’ premiership got a boost yesterday when he secured the ride at the last minute on high-class filly Elite Elle in the Tattsbet南京夜网 Handicap.

After Elite Elle’s jockey, Danny Nikolic, fell ill yesterday morning, Newitt got the winning ride and kept his premiership hopes alive.

The booking of Newitt shocked most at Caulfield yesterday as the lateness of the announcement was caused by a communication breakdown with the Nikolic family.

Nikolic had contacted his parents on their home phone telling them that he was unable to ride and to inform stewards, but his father and manager, John, did not receive the message.

”When it came to 40 minutes before the race, I rang John Nikolic and he explained the situation; that he hadn’t receive the message from Danny. But it was later confirmed after his father visited him what had transpired,” chief steward Terry Bailey said.

”At that point we made the change for Newitt to take the ride on Elite Elle.”

It was indeed a lucky find for Newitt, who just 40 minutes earlier had seen his rival for this year’s premiership, defending champion Luke Nolen, win the opening race on the lightly raced Le Societe.

Nolen’s win locked the pair on equal terms in the title race, but the gifted Elite Elle did not let her backers or Newitt down when she effortlessly took out the next event.

Elite Elle, who was backed pre-race from $3.80 into her starting price of $2, was never in danger, scoring by 1¾ lengths from Grand Emperor ($16), with King Krovanh ($6) third.

Newitt was in agreement with trainer Tony Vasil that Elite Elle had all the characteristics of a potential spring horse.

”She did a wonderful job. She just cruised along and I never had any problems whatsoever,” Newitt said.

”She’s probably got to take the next step to be a spring filly, but there’s certainly a lot to like about her.”

Newitt went into yesterday’s Caulfield meeting one winner ahead of Nolen and that had not changed by the end of the day, with both jockeys landing winning doubles.

Vasil said Elite Elle would have a three-week break before being prepared for some early spring fillies black-type events, but was reluctant to indicate any other lofty plans.

”Let’s get through those and see how she’s going,” he said. ”But as far as winter is concerned, she’s the best wet-track galloper I’ve ever had through my hands.”

Later in the day, Ballarat-based trainer Darren Weir, who is enjoying his most successful season, said he planned to start yesterday’s Dominant Handicap winner Platelet in Saturday week’s Sir John Monash Stakes over 1000 metres under weight-for-age conditions.

Weir said Platelet had been a most genuine and honest racehorse to prepare and believed that her win yesterday was indicative of better things to come.

He said Platelet had been the perfect racehorse at home and had earned a tilt at black-type events.

The in-form trainer added that stablemate Rue Maple, who was runner-up as favourite earlier in the day, would also start in the Monash Stakes.

”They’re both very honest and fit. So, with the likelihood also of a wet track, why not have a crack at it?” Weir said.

Platelet started at $3.10 and scored by a half-length from Gig ($11), with Pixie Eyes ($41) a nose away third.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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