Day At The Track

Telmax Nikita out to end run of placings

03:40 PM 24 Jul 2020 NZST
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Campania trainer Ivan Belbin is hoping that four-year-old gelding Telmax Nikita can break his maiden status when he lines up in the opening race in Hobart on Friday, the Nutrein Ag Sprint Lane Pace.

The gelded son of Tell All has registered five placings to date with four of those coming in the pacers four starts back since the COVID-19 shutdown.

“He is going really good; he is just starting to grow into himself. He is such a big horse so we didn’t do a lot with him early, he has had a few problems and he has been a bugger to train I tell you, but he is starting to go good now and earn us a bit of money,” explains trainer Ivan Belbin.

Telmax Nikita finished third in Launceston last start where he did plenty of work to hold the lead in some quick early sections before handing up at the 1100-metre mark.

“When they took him on early it took a bit out of him. Rohan (Hillier) was happy with him, he just got beat in a photo finish for second,” said the Campania based trainer who is happy with the way the pacer has come through the run.

“He’s real good, he is better than ever,” he said.

Belbin elected to not start the pacer as a two-year-old, instead, he decided to give the now four-year-old time to develop.

“He was just like a big kid early on, he was looking around and wasn’t racing properly but now he is, I think he will be better next year as a five-year-old.”

Tonight’s event is for horses that are aged four-years and older with prizemoney earnings of $15,000 or less over 2090 metres.

“He has drawn bad in the middle tonight, but he still should go good,” said Belbin about the only pacer he has in work at present.

Rohan Hillier who is four wins away from registering his 50th win in the sulky for the season has been booked for the drive again tonight.

“Up in Launceston last start Rohan was pleased with him and he was keen to know when he was in next as he wanted to stick with him,” Belbin said.

Telmax Nikita is also owned and bred by Ivan along with his wife Judy and is the second foal to race out of La Nikita who won 13 races, the bulk of those victories coming when purchased by the Belbin’s in early 2005.

Punters have installed the Samantha Gangell-trained and driven Navua Pixie as the favourite for tonight’s event, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven was placed in Launceston last time out behind Sermac but does have an outside of the second-row draw to overcome.

Friday’s eight-race Hobart card commences at 17:04 and will be shown on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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