Trainer Brian Wakefield has an uncanny knack of picking his mark and hopes Nuptse can fulfil her black type potential in the Travel Associates Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Nuptse has been freshened for the 1200m Listed feature after arriving home only six days ago following a successful Sydney trip with stablemate Pretty Composed.
The mare continued Wakefield’s good Sydney strike-rate with a narrow win at Rosehill last month before finishing third at Randwick and fourth at Warwick Farm this month.
Wakefield, who also won with Nuptse at Warwick Farm in January, isn’t frightened by the set weights and penalties conditions of the Classic which heavily favour Stradbroke Handicap placegetter, Zero Rock.
“I’m more concerned about getting a good barrier and I need to find a jockey to replace Nathan Berry who rode her in Sydney,” Wakefield said.
Zero Rock was allotted topweight of 57.5kg while Nuptse is on the minimum with 53kg.
“Unfortunately Nuptse didn’t have much luck with the barriers in Sydney and if she doesn’t draw well tomorrow then I might save her for another race the following week,” Wakefield said.
“It’s a tough race but my mare is fit and well and if she draws well she’ll be able to take up a good spot.
“I’d love to snare a Listed race with her now before she eventually goes to stud.”
Nuptse is yet to win over 1200 metres, a factor which concerns Wakefield.
“She won well over 1100 metres at Rosehill but she drew the outside of a seven-horse field and was caught three wide when she finished third at Randwick over 1200 metres,” he said.
“Last run she had barrier 11 over the 1000 metres and got a long way back and it was too hard for her to pick up the leader.
“She’s still a 1200-metre maiden so I suppose that’s a concern.”
Wakefield hasn’t ruled out starting Nuptse in the Magic Millions Sprint (1000m) at the Gold Coast in January before turning her out to prepare for the Brisbane winter carnival.
“I won’t aim her for any of the major races but I’m sure she can measure up to some of the good second-tier races,” he said.
“I took her to Sydney to get away from the hard tracks up here and I was going to send her to Melbourne for a Listed race on Oaks day after her Rosehill win.
“But we weren’t sure if she’d get into the race at Flemington so we stayed in Sydney.”