Quality three-year-olds to clash in Nugget Final
By Jonny Turner
The booms echoing around Southland on Saturday morning will not just be heard from duck hunters on their season’s opening morning.
The Ascot Park meeting is set to start with a bang when three quality three-year-olds go head to head in race 1, a Nugget graduation final.
Punters are set to ring out cheers for the Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis trained Hampton and Chuckles, who will clash with Southland Oaks contender, Tulsa Jaccka, in the 2200m mobile.
Tulsa Jaccka comes in to the race after running a slightly unlucky sixth behind Pressed For Time in the Southland Oaks Final.
Trainer Wayne Adams said he was pleased with the filly’s effort considering she has only been lightly tried.
“I think she went a pretty good race, considering what she has done.”
“That was only her fourth start and she has just improved all the time.”
“The ones that beat her were some smart fillies, I think she went alright.”
“She has come through it really well.”
Tulsa Jaccka is set to start from the outside of the front line in barrier 6, in a field that has been reduced by scratchings to seven runners.
If driver Nathan Williamson has to settle the A Rocknroll Dance filly back in the field from that starting spot, it could let her show her strong suit at the finish.
“We have found on the training track that she hasn’t been a leader, she just does what she has to,” Adams said.
“When she is in behind, she has a really good turn of foot.”
Tulsa Jaccka has shown toughness when racing on the speed before, which will be an asset if Williamson chooses to drive her that way.
“When she won at Winton, she sat three-wide parked from the 1200m and kept going.”
“So, I don’t really know what suits her best, just yet.”
The brilliant run of form of the Barclay-Ellis stable could be what keeps Tulsa Jaccka out of the winner’s circle on Saturday.
Chuckles helped seal a four race-winning bag for the trainers in his last start victory at Ascot Park on Diamonds Day.
The three-year-old showed brilliant gate speed to lead early, before sitting parked for the last lap of the race, and then bolting away to win by more than three-lengths.
Hampton capped a strong run of form to win his maiden at start five, just days before Chuckles won.
The three-year-old also sat parked for the last lap of the 2200m event to score.
Hampton is set to start from barrier 2, on Saturday, with Chuckles outside him in barrier 6.