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By Graham Potter | Saturday, July 29, 2023

Nikau Spur made a lot of ultra enthusiast owners very happy when he saluted in a BM78 over 1815m in town, at Eagle Farm, on July 29.

It was the KO Racing Syndicate brand’s fiftieth race winner and it came with the added bonus of a valuable city win which added a useful $42 700 to the prize-money earnings kitty.

Formerly with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, the Corey and Kylie Geran trained New Zealand bred came into the race on the back of a close-up third placing in a Class 4 Handicap over 1666m at Ipswich just ten days earlier.

Mark Du Plessis was in the saddle that day, and he retained the ride here with Nikau Spur jumping at a starting price of an easy-to-back $17.

Nikau Spur settled just off the speed, in fifth some three lengths off the front-runner early. That became sixth place and five lengths back going down the back stretch, but Nikau Spur was always seemingly travelling well within himself with Du Plessis content to hold that position.

Up to fifth again, cornering three wide, Nikau Spur straightened with an undeniable chance of victory, but, with plenty of work still to do, the result would have to be hard earned.

With a pressurized finish coming up … the four runners in front of Nikau Spur were engaged in a cut and thrust battle while another runner was ramping up the challenge to Nikau Spur’s outside … Nikau Spur initially did well to hold his own in the first half of the run home, before taking that effort to the next level over the concluding 150m.

In fact, at the 200m mark it still looked like Nikau Spur would run a nice place … but the Geran trained runner just kept coming.

There was no exuberant flash of acceleration … but Nikau Spur’s finishing effort came with a solid commitment to the cause … never blinking, never taking his eye off the goal … and, in the end, that stout effort proved to be too much for his rivals.

In the end, Nikau Spur’s winning margin was half-a-length with the intensity of the finish being underlined by the fact that only 1.30 lengths separated the first five runners across the line.

This was Nikau Spur’s first win in seven starts since relocating to the Geran team and, as mentioned, he provided the perfect fiftieth win for the KO Racing Syndicate … who would have taken the result anywhere they could get it, but to reach that landmark victory on the big metropolitan stage made it all the more special.

Two races after Nikau spur’s win, the Cory and Kylie Geran trained Bentley Magic carried the KO Racing silks into a creditable fourth place … as a $61 chance … in an Open Handicap over 1600m … which was the seven-year-old’s best return since relocating to the Geran stable from the Matthew Smith yard.

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Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
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