Mark Newnham may have lost Group One winner Maif Of Heaven for the autumn but he still has plenty of ammunition in the fillies’ ranks including Nakeeta Jane who has stamped her Oaks claims with victory in the Light Fingers Stakes.
Spring Champion Stakes winner Maid Of Heaven is resting because of injury and Newnham saddled up Group One placegetters Nakeeta Jane and Greysful Glamour in Saturday’s Group Two Light Fingers (1200m) at Randwick.
Miss Fabulass started the $3.70 favourite but barely raised a shout with Nakeeta Jane ($10), having her first start since her third in the Flight Stakes, getting the better of Madam Rouge ($16) by a neck.
Pohutukawa ($21) was another three-quarters of a length away.
“She has only had four starts and to beat these horses over 1200 metres tells me she’s top-class,” Newnham said.
“There is no doubt she has class and has a good road ahead.”
Newnham said the Surround Stakes, Vinery and Coolmore Classic were Group One options on the way to the Australian Oaks (2400m) in April.
Nakeeta Jane’s jockey Josh Parr was just as enthusiastic.
“She’s very exciting,” he said.
“She’s a horse that we believe is on a trip to the Vinery and the Oaks so to settle fourth the fence first-up over 1200 metres and run down a couple of tearaways, it’s very nice.”
Flight Stakes winner Oohood ($8.50) finished 10th of the 11 runners, one place behind Miss Fabulass who was in turn, one position behind VRC Oaks runner-up Greysful Glamour.
The TAB immediately tightened Nakeeta Jane to $5 favouritism for the Oaks ahead of Verry Elleegent ($6), second to Amphitrite in Saturday’s Vanity at Flemington.