NICCONITA relishes distance rise

NICCONITA revelled in her first attempt over a mile at the Sapphire Coast on Monday, opening a new door in her career.

Back midfield and some 10 lengths in arrears of a tearaway leader, the John Bateman-trained mare pulled back the margin to win with 1.5 lengths to spare and her ears pricked on the line.

Having endured a six-start winless run tracing back to February, NICCONITA’s fourth win was an overdue one, but more significantly, it was her first success beyond 1200m which is sure to give John more options in terms of future programming.

“It’s been a while, but a drop back in grade and stepping her up over a bit of ground worked out nicely for her today,” John said.

“I’ve always thought she was a miler but circumstances haven’t let us get there.

“When she straightened she looked like she had them covered.”

Jockey Blaike McDougall was a key factor in Monday’s breakthrough win as he kept the mare relaxed and balanced before the pair surged down the outside of the home straight.

McDougall has proven himself to be a valuable asset for John with three wins from his last six rides for the stable.

NICCONITA was purchased by Proven Thoroughbreds for only $20,000 from the 2016 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale and has since banked $166,440 from 22 starts.

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