Nicholas T enjoyed a third career success at Newcastle this afternoon in the feature Betway Conditions Stakes, a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships back at Newcastle on Good Friday.
This year’s Northumberland Plate hero was the 14/1 outsider in a field of six that included unexposed stayer Coltrane, prolific All-Weather winner Rainbow Dreamer and last year’s scorer Island Brave.
Trained by Jim Goldie, Nicholas T was held up for his customary late challenge by Paul Mulrennan as the free-going Mr Curiosity injected pace into the race approaching halfway.
The runners came up the middle of the track in the straight and Nicholas T made good progress on the outside to challenge at the two-furlong pole while Rainbow Dreamer and Alignak also held every chance.
The trio were virtually in a line approaching the final furlong and it was Nicholas T who finished strongest to win by three parts of a length. Rainbow Dreamer ran a good race on his return to take second, with Alignak a further half-length back in third.
Goldie said: “We were just debating whether it was clever to beat a horse rated 108! I guess it’s all systems go for Finals Day now.
“Nicholas T has a very good record here having also won a handicap and the Northumberland Plate, and it was probably a career-best today. I don’t know what the handicapper will make of it but that is academic as far as the final is concerned.
“Newcastle suits horses like him who enjoy coming from off the pace and it helped today that they went a good gallop – I think the winning time [3m 31.13s] was quicker than his Plate win. He relaxed well and has a potent turn of foot for a stayer.
“We have been itching to give him a break. We had notions of winning the Plate again but we have probably buggered that now!
“He should have a live chance in the final based on that performance – the second is a very talented horse – and we will get him ready for that now.”