Nic’s Vendetta has graduated from the Highway Handicap series with a victory that edges apprentice Mikayla Weir to outriding her country claim.
The five-year-old gelding gave Weir her first city winner in a Highway Handicap at Warwick Farm last July, and the pair combined again at Randwick to upset $2.90 favourite Ori On Fire.
Weir, 24, produced an astute rails run for Muswellbrook trainer Todd Howlett to beat Hugh Bowman’s mount to the line by a long neck.
“He’s one of a kind that horse. He’s truly been the horse that’s got my career to where it needs to be,” she said.
“One more win and the claim is gone. I needed that at this point in my career to be able to keep kicking along.”
Weir, a former barrel racer and rodeo rider, is apprenticed to Howlett.
“The run panned out exactly how I wanted,” she said.
“To be on Hugh’s back was a big advantage. I knew he would take me a long way into the race and when he rolled off the fence it gave me every hope in the world to be able to get by him.
“At the top of the rise I was struggling a little bit but he just kept fighting. After the rise I knew I had him.”
Nic’s Vendetta ($6) preserved his perfect second-up record leading Howlett to joke about his immediate future.
“Maybe I should be putting him back out,” he said.
Howlett thought a midweek race would now be on the agenda and possibly an off season Saturday race as Nic’s Vendetta seeks a fifth career win.
Northern River ($11) filled out the minor placings a length further back.