Chilcott has an excellent record at Otaki
By Garrick Knight
Nicky Chilcott just loves Otaki.
The Cambridge horsewoman has trained 23 winners on the grass track since 2002 – an excellent effort given that, until this year, the Kapiti Coast Harness Racing Club only ran a single two-day meeting there.
The club only has a single date this year and Chilcott returns today with a four-horse team aiming to add to her excellent record.
“I just love this place,” she told HRNZ.
“I’ve had a good amount of luck here and certainly hope that continues today.
“I really feel for the club only getting the one day this year – the noms looked excellent but they’ve had 28 withdrawls after the racing at Manawatu on Friday night.
“They really need a good meeting today and I know the team here are going all out.
“As I stand here I can see tents going up and a heck of a lot of effort being put in.”
Chilcott’s team is headlined by her classy mare, Ferritts Sister, who will start favourite in the $12,000 Otaki Cup, a race she has won previously with Everything (2017) and Davbro Bromac (2006).
“I’m really big on her today.
“I’ve been quite easy on her since her last start, because she’s had some hard racing; when you’re going 2.39 week in, week out at Auckland that’s going to have you fit, but also take its toll.
“So she’s been freshened and I think she goes better in that state anyway.”
The length of race and the length of grass is naturally a concern.
“The 3000 metres is a query, and the grass is quite long so they’re not going to be running any great times today.
“They admitted that with the heat and rain lately, the grass has just gotten away on them in the last couple of days, and I believe them.
“This time of year, in those conditions, grass can grow overnight.”
Sportngoodtime was also the bookies’ elect this morning and he looks a prime contender to clear maidens earlier in the card.
“He’s no superstar but he’s the coolest wee horse.
“He tries his arse off and will have nice gate speed to use today.
“I think he’s still a bit immature and a bit more time will be his friend but I’m pretty happy with him today.”
One she’s not happy with is Mac’s Tomado, who gets a good draw in race 2.
“He just hasn’t been hitting the line that last fifty or so.
“He’s well and bright but I have been disappointed a wee bit by his runs lately. He’s definitely better than that.”
And Waingaro Ideal finds himself in a difficult race at just his fourth start after clearing maidens at Rotorua last week.
“Sweet Maggie Ryan has won seven races, Our Wicklow has won 11 races and two or three others have won six races.
“He’s having his fourth start and won his maiden on the grass.”
It’s fair to say Chilcott is frustrated by the situation the horse finds himself in.
New Zealand’s winningest ever female driver also has three outside drives but plainly states none of them fill her with any great optimism.
“Secretofthesea Smile would be an outside place chance, I guess.
“She likes the grass and steps well, so she has that in her favour.”