Brian Johnstone final spots on the line on Thursday night
Rico Nismo Aiming To Make Brian Johnstone Decider
The Brian Johnstone series will ramp up on Thursday at Angle Park, with two semi-finals of the event to be run, with the first four from these heats making their way through to the lucrative Group 3 final next week.
Four heats were run last week, with local trainer Bosko Stamenkovic completely dominating taking out three races, whilst the other one went to the Ben Rawlings trained My Khaleesi, who was the fastest of the four winners, running a quick 30.65.
Although not a big name in the series, the Richard Pearce trained Rico Nismo will be looking to make her presence felt in semi-final number two on Thursday, with her chances somewhat dependent on a bit of early luck.
Last week, the daughter of Hard Style Rico x Gemma Nismo found some early trouble after drawing box one, when she wanted to shift out from the inside, but produced a strong effort to storm home into second. It was a run that Pearce thought was sound but highlighted her lack of early speed.
“It was a fair run, she made up a tremendous amount of ground, but she hasn't got a great deal of pace early, that's her problem,” Pearce said.
“I think she’s a bit better out there (drawn wide) then what she is inside, because she always tries to get off on the first turn and that’s when she gets herself into trouble.”
Box four on Thursday may prove to be okay for Rico Nismo, if she is able to get a clear run to her outside, but Pearce concedes that she needs to land close if she is any chance of beating the favourites.
“I think she’s got a chance to run into a place, if she can get around the first turn in the first four, then yes she’s in a with a bit of a show, but she will give them a start,” Pearce said.
Following this series, Pearce has his eyes on stepping Rico Nismo up to the 600m distance, which he is confident that she will run, given the strength of her racing so far.
“She will go over 600m, but not straight away.”
The Tony Nobes trained Dazzling Cruiser will be looking to continue her excellent return from a short spell when she enters grade 4 company for the first time at the city track.
Since returning from a short spell at the start of September, Dazzling Cruiser has had six starts and either won or run second in each of them, which have been over different distances and tracks.
Whilst her form prior to the spell was solid, she had some mystery bruising appear which forced Nobes to give her a spell, but it seems to have been a great move, with the bitch arguably in career best form.
“She had some bruising on her leg, but it was one of those mystery ones, the vet couldn’t find anything, two muscle guys couldn’t find anything, so they just said give her some time off and when the bruising goes then get her back into work and see what she does, it’s been happy days since then! She’s probably come back a lot better than before the break,” Nobes said.
Two weeks ago at her last start, Dazzling Cruiser produced a massive performance, to win in a clear best of the night time, running 30.54 for the 530m distance. Whilst the performance didn’t come as a great shock for Nobes, the winning time did, given the way the track played on the night.
“That (time) blew me away, especially considering everyone was saying that the track was off and I even thought that myself. It was probably an easier race than what it is Thursday night, but once she crossed like that and flew out, when I saw the time, I thought sheesh, that put paid to it being a slow track!” said Nobes
It presents a new challenge on Thursday, stepping up in grade, with some quality chasers engaged in the race, but Nobes is confident that Dazzling Cruiser can repeat the dose if she jumps like she did last start.
“If she can cross that field then she wins I think,” Nobes said.
“I wouldn’t want to see her sitting too wide on the turn, but if she’s sitting outside dogs, I have a feeling that when she eyeballs them then she finds something else.”
Best Bet: My Khaleesi (Race 7, Number 3)
Value Bet: Who Knows Darren (Race 6, Number 7)