It hasn’t been the ideal preparation for Nimalee, but her class has shone through in winning the Emancipation Stakes and trainer Matthew Smith believes she has much more to give in The Coast at Gosford on Saturday.
Nimalee overcame the frustration of a foot abscess to score at the beginning of the campaign to win a group 2 in the Emancipation Stakes, which has earned her the top weight for The Coast (1600m).
“She has been going really well all prep, and I think she is probably going to get better,” Smith said. “She just got that abscess at the wrong time, and it took a while to get rid of the infection.
“But she was still able to win the Emancipation, and we get to this race really only a couple of runs into the prep and still fresh.
“Despite the big weight, I think she is the one they have to beat if she gets the run she needs .”
There is a sharpness to Nimalee this time in that allowed her to win over 1400m first up before her Emancipation victory six weeks later. She simply went too quick third up in the Queen Of Turf, when she sat outside the leader before fading to finish back in the field, so Smith is looking for a more controlled effort at Gosford.
“When I was watching that race, I thinking they were setting it up for those back in the field, they went so quick,” Smith said. “She has always had above average ability and we are seeing that now.
“I have always thought she was going to stretch out to 2000m, but the best thing about her this prep has been her how sharp she has been.
“If she can get her way in front [in The Coast] she has a real turn of foot, and I can’t fault her now.