Patience has finally paid off for connections of Nakeeta in Europe’s richest handicap, the Ebor at York.
The Ian Jardine-trained six-year-old missed the cut for the race 12 months ago but it all worked out this time as Nakeeta edged out the 7-1 favourite Flymetothestars in the hands of apprentice Callum Rodriguez on Saturday (Sunday AEST).
Flymetothestars’ participation had been in doubt because of the drying ground, but he was allowed to take his chance and it briefly looked his day, as Sir Mark Prescott’s charge burst through the pack to lead, but Nakeeta pounced late to win by a head.
“He’s run well in so many big races, we decided to claim off him today,” Jardine said.
“Callum gave him a great ride, I’ve got my own apprentice (Jamie Gormley), but Callum just had that bit more experience.
“He’s (Nakeeta) come close so many times he deserves this, I’m so glad he’s won one.
“We were second in the Ebor last year with Shrewd. Nakeeta missed the cut last year and ran in the two-mile race at the meeting instead and was second.
“I’ve been training six or seven years now and it is days like today which are why we do it.”