Wide draw only negative to Nickalls South Australian experience

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Llanacord

New Zealand filly Llanacord has settled in well following her arrival in South Australia ahead of her Group One test on Saturday.

The Stephen Nickalls-trained three-year-old won the Group 2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) in a stirring finish last month and will attempt to add an elite victory to her tally when tackling the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville this weekend.

The daughter of Contributer crossed the Tasman fro New Zealand to Australia a week ago with Nickalls reporting she is ticking all the boxes while completing her build up to Saturday’s race.

“Obviously she tucked up a little bit on the trip but that is to be expected,” Nickalls, who has travelled to Australia to oversee her preparation, said.

“She has put her head into the feed bowl and eaten everything we can throw at her.

“She has done everything right here, she has eaten up and galloped on Tuesday morning and felt just as good as she does at home.”

Nickalls has based himself at the stable of Ryan Balfour and said that while realistic about their chances of scoring an upset win on Saturday, he was confident Llanacord would deliver an honest performance.

“We aren’t sure if we are excited or terrified to be honest, but we are enjoying the ride anyway,” he said. “To be competing against the top in any sport is wonderful so for us to be up there is a great ride.

“We are under no illusions, we are in Australia and in a Group One race. It is pretty surreal, and we expect it is going to be tough. I drew barrier 16 for her so I didn’t help.

“Looking at the +3000 price here it doesn’t look like they are expecting too much but we will give them a fright anyway.

“I have had a chat to Brett Prebble (jockey) and he tells me there is plenty of speed in the race so hopefully we can get a drag into it and be running over the top of them.”

Safely through Saturday, Nickalls has two further Adelaide assignments in mind for Llanacord including another tilt at Group One glory.

“We ruled Queensland out. She has never been right-handed and there are two races here in Adelaide we have nominated her for,” he said.

“Safely through Saturday we are nominated for the South Australian Derby (Group 1, 2500m) on May 8 or there is a really nice fillies race, the SA Fillies Classic (Group 3, 2500m) on May 15 a week later.

“I said to my owner yesterday that she hasn’t let us down yet and I’m not expecting Saturday to be the day either.”

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