The bloodstock fortunes of embattled mining magnate Nathan Tinkler temporarily took a sharp turn for the better when Nechita won the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
In a week when a portion of Tinkler’s thoroughbred interests were sold-off in a two-day Gold Coast sale, Nechita beat the best sprinting three-year-olds in the land to claim her first Group One win.
Emotional trainer John Thompson said the victory was a boost for Tinkler, who races one of Australia’s biggest team of horses under the Patinack Farm banner.
“We’ve been doing it tough but he’s (Tinkler) been a good supporter of mine,” Thompson said, trying to hold back tears.
Nechita and her rider Christian Reith both bounced back dramatically from problems to post the important victory.
The filly recovered in style from a leg injury discovered after her unbeaten run ended when she slumped to sixth in the Group One Golden Rose at Rosehill in September.
And Reith signalled his return from a well-publicised battle with depression to snare his first Group One win.
The Sydney-based jockey’s first taste of Flemington did not augur well earlier in the day however.
He rode unplaced Real Stolle for John Thompson, who also trains Nechita, in the opening race to get a feel for the track and fell off the filly after it passed the finishing post.
“I didn’t mean for him to get that much of a feel for the track,” Thompson said.
But he paid tribute to Reith’s determination and ability to handle Flemington’s wide open spaces in his debut at the track.
“It’s the first day he’s ever ridden here and in his first Group One,” Thompson said.
“He deserves it, he’s been doing the hard yards and it’s good to see him come through,” he said.
Nechita held off Jolie Bay by three-quarters of a length with Shamexpress third.
Thompson described Nechita as like “a stick of gelignite waiting to go off” during the week, while Reith said he was jittery at the start.
“I’ve never been so nervous, mainly because of how impressive she was on Tuesday at her jump out,” Reith said.
“I just toughened up and had to hold onto her.”
Thompson said he expected big things from Nechita.
“She’s by far the fastest horse I’ve ever had anything to do with,” he said. “Just a scintillating turn of foot off a hot speed.”
Meanwhile, the Gerald Ryan-trained $4.40 favourite Snitzerland, finished a disappointing fifth.
“She can’t win sitting in the middle of the pack but she wasn’t good enough on the day,” Ryan said.