Capitalist might be the overwhelming favourite for the Magic Millions Classic, but that does not deter jockey Michael Cahill who believes Nikitas can give him a run for his money.
Cahill rode Real Surreal to win the race in 2013 and says there are similarities between the pair beyond them both being trained by Kelso Wood.
Nikitas is the equal $10 second favourite for Saturday’s $2 million race at the Gold Coast with the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Capitalist at $1.65.
Real Surreal came from barrier two but got well back before swamping the field in the final 200m and Cahill believes Nikitas is even better equipped to take advantage of his good barrier (3).
“She got back from her good draw but finished strongly. Nikitas showed he had natural pace when he led all the way to win his first start at Doomben,” Cahill said.
“I think if he can get into the first five or six with cover after they have gone 300 metres he can finish strongly.”
At the second of his two starts, Nikitas finished third as favourite behind Classic rivals Zelady’s Night Out and Slumber Party in the Group Three Bruce McLachlan at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day.
Win or lose, Cahill believes Nikitas has the potential to be a top class horse over more ground later in his career.
“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself but he gives you the feel of being the real deal,” Cahill said.
Cahill will also ride Real Surreal who runs in the $1 million Fillies and Mares (1300m).
After a stint in Sydney with Hawkes Racing, Real Surreal returned to Wood last year and has a Listed win in the Gai Waterhouse in June to her credits from six starts back in Queensland.