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Naiconi is all class

Lightly-raced Naiconi showed her class with an outstanding first up victory at Sandown Lakeside on Wednesday, April 10.

Trained by Tony & Calvin McEvoy, the four-year-old mare took her record to three wins and three seconds from just seven starts.

Having her first start since November 2022, when she was stakes-placed in the Twilight Glow Stakes, Naiconi exploded in the home straight to win the Handicap (1200m).

Easy in the market, drifting from $3 to start $5.50, the mare, ridden by apprentice Jaylah Kennedy, began well but drifted back to midfield of the eight runners in the run to the home turn.

Kennedy waited and obtained a run at the 300-metre mark and Naiconi accelerated to take control and win comfortably by 1-1/4 lengths from Merrigold ($9) with Elderberry ($2.80 fav), three-quarters of a length away third.

Trainer Tony McEvoy explained the Naiconi story.

“She is a filly we have had a lot of time for a long time,” McEvoy said.

“She has got a bit of Pod’s disease, a bit of bone pain.

“We had her in at Moonee Valley and the ground was too quick, so I scratched her, then we had her in again but didn’t want to waste all the time we have put in to return her on hard ground.

“That was a huge effort by her (today) and all the team. The ownership group for being so patient, 500 days, not many people like waiting that long.

“We will have to manage her carefully throughout her career.

“Horses with the disease jar up in their bones, they are soft boned, and if it is firm ground they won’t stretch out and they pull up sore.

“On this track today which is a (soft) six, riding like a seven, she will come out of it absolutely fine.

“You could see she was happy to lengthen on that ground, so we have got to protect her and run her on the right sort of track.”

McEvoy said Naiconi would now go to the VOBIS Gold day at Caulfield on April 27 where there was a race worth quite a bit of money for her.

“Conditions will determine if she runs. She is a black type filly and we race all year around in Australia, so we don’t have to rush.”

Winning jockey Jaylah Kennedy was full of praise for Naiconi.

“She is definitely pretty untapped at this stage,” Kennedy said.

“She is a four-year-old and very lightly raced but was very impressive today considering she didn’t have the fitness edge like some of the other runners – but she is classy.

“I had to be patient today but luckily when the gap came she rocketed through.”