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Nikki Nettle not done yet

By Isaac Murphy

Almost four years ago to the day, Claude Dacey and wife Norma were greeted with a Paw Licking, Dayseas Astra litter they were hopeful could make an impact on the track and with over one hundred combined wins, they’ve well and truly achieved their goal.

One bitch, Nikki Nettle, is not done winning just yet, taking out three of her last five starts over different distances and will look to make it four wins tonight.

Dacey always claimed Nikki Nettle was the fastest of the litter on her day, and having battled open company most of her life, he was ecstatic to see her putting some icing on the top of a brilliant career.

“It’s great to see her getting rewarded with some races at the back end of career, she always raced in top grade through her prime and often found one better on the night but her luck has changed of late,” Dacey said.

“People are marvelling at her winning over the 600 metres and then dropping back to the 331 metres, but there are two things with her; she was always the strongest home and always the first out.

“She was never the smartest in the field and could hit a few flat spots but with her three recent wins she’s been able to lead and make her own luck.”

After a luckless three-year-old campaign, Dacey said he was tempted to send Nikki Nettle to the breeding barn along with some of her litter mates but was glad he gave her a chance to get her confidence back.

“A lot of people thought she was finished when she went through a big drought over the 520 metres, but she just couldn’t draw an inside box and was getting smashed early which really got her a bit skittish on the first turn,” Dacey said.

“A couple of inside boxes in slightly more suitable company she’s got a bit of her swagger back, she’s going out there with confidence again.”

 

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Dacey is sitting on the fence whether Nikki Nettle can continue her golden run Thursday night having to overcome her demons from box eight.

“I’m pretty weary of having the pink tomorrow night, she’s going to really ping the lids to get across because she gets nervous with dogs inside her,” he said.

“Looking at the race she is the clear early speed dog and will probably lead them, I just wish we could change the pink for the red.

“Belvadere Babe in the one will only help us; he’ll want to get up the track and if they pack up we might be able to take advantage out wide.”

Dacey said he couldn’t be prouder of his homegrown litter, with every dog chipping in double digit wins to give the couple a great ride.

“She’s part of a remarkable litter, Paw Licking and Dayseas Astra gave us her Corkykodi, Love The Look, Jeannie Dreaming and Power Service,” Dacey said.

“We raced Dayseas Astra who was a decent bitch in her own right but had to lead to win, she passed down different traits to each one of her progenies.

“Between the lot of them they have well over a hundred wins and Nikki is doing her best to add a few more - you don’t get litters that are that good across the board.”

While Dacey hit the jackpot with Nikki Nettle’s litter, he was brought down to earth quickly as he looked to combine with Dr George Clegg and breed with the irrepressible Big Bad Bob.

“We were very fortunate with that litter and recently got knocked down a peg when we tried to get a litter out of Big Bad Bob and Power Service,” Dacey said.

“Everything was fine on Big Bad Bob’s end, our bitch just didn’t have what it took to whelp a litter, but we’re hoping we get some success with Love the Look and Nikki Nettle when their racing careers are over and we’ve already got a litter of Jeannie Dreaming’s on the ground at the moment.”

In the twilight of his training career, Dacey said he would stay in the sport as long as he possibly could with some future champions already running around in the yard.

“In the next sixth months we’re expecting a lot of pups on the ground and I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep them all because Jeannie Dreaming’s already provided us with twelve,” he said.

“I’ve always loved the process of breeding our own, but I’m not getting any younger I’m hoping I can hang around long enough to see what the next wave produces.”