“I thought she would be a lot shorter than that”

John Bateman believes bookmakers are quoting a generous price about NICCONITA in her attempt to win a deserved Highway race at Randwick on Saturday.

A Highway win has eluded NICCONITA in seven attempts, but John is quietly confident his mare can finally convert five minor placings into a win, despite bookmakers currently offering upwards of $15.

“I was thinking she would be a lot shorter than that,” John said.

“She should be at the top of her game now third-up and the form around her is great – the horse that ran second in her race at Canterbury last start went on and won at the Kensington track on Wednesday.

“Her work was really good on Tuesday, she dashed home the last furlong – I was very happy with it.

“She’s finally drawn a decent barrier too, so this looks the best chance she’s had to date of winning a highway.”

If there are no scratchings in Saturday’s $75,000 event, the daughter of NICCONI will jump from barrier four in a field of 14.

The five-year-old mare also retains the services of Brenton Avdulla.

“When Brenton got off her the other day he showed no hesitation in staying on her for this race,” John said.

“He said going from Canterbury to Randwick would be perfect for her.”

NICCONITA was a bargain $20,000 purchase for Proven Thoroughbreds at the 2016 Inglis Classic Sale. From 17 career starts the mare has amassed almost eight times her price tag.

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