Day At The Track

Group 1 Beckons for Nek Time

09:46 PM 06 Jul 2016 NZST
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Nek Time,Harness racing Nek Time.jpg
Nek Time
Bruce Stewart
Nek Time at Albion Park last week

Star New Zealand harness racing filly Nek Time is a chance of taking on the boys next week in the Queensland Derby.

But first, she must claim the Gr.1 $75,000 DPMA Queensland Oaks at Albion Park on Saturday night.

And her chances are looking good following her stylish all the way victory last week in the Gold Coast Oaks coupled with a handy draw this weekend.

The Terry and Glenys Chmiel trained Gotta Go Cullect filly will start from gate four on Saturday and provides reinsman Dexter Dunn with plenty of options.

“It’s a nice draw and we’ve got room to move so Dex can plot a path to success hopefully from there, I’m really happy with the way she won last week. She had a good blow after the race so I’m expecting a good performance again this week but it’s a much stronger field with several new fillies starting this week.” Co-trainer Terry Chmiel said.

New faces this week include a trio of talented fillies from Sydney headlined by last start Gr.1 Breeders Challenge winner Rockmemama plus the duo from the stables of Amanda Turnbull in Eye See Diamonds and Neon Sky while classy local filly Cherish The Moment also starts after bypassing last week.

Rockmemama defeated Eye See Diamonds in the Breeders Challenge final two weeks ago while Newcastle Oaks winner Neon Sky has been kept fresh for this assignment.

But Chmiel is confident his filly can lift again and rise to the challenge.

“I’m actually a little surprised how well she’s actually doing over here, after I weighed her the other day, she’s actually put some weight on so she’s really thriving in the warmer climate. Her work this week has been good and everything is looking good.

“That was the first time we’ve used her off the gate last week and the lead time was pretty solid so I was more than happy with the effort, normally we just drive her steady early before making a move but Dex made full use of the good draw last week.

“If we can win again this weekend, she’s eligible for the Picket Fence bonus but she must start in the Queensland Derby next week so we’ll keep our options open. We’ve got to win this weekend first.”

The Rob and Sharon Symon owned filly is chasing her third Oaks success this season after already winning the Southland and Gold Coast Oaks.

New Zealand bred fillies have a fine record in the Queensland Oaks with the past four winners coming from the shaky isles.

Last year, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Fight For Glory proved victorious.

Betting giant UBET have opened Rockmemama ($2.50) a slight favourite over Nek Time ($2.80).

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        Chris Barsby

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