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Bargain buy Nieta reaching for Starlight

After a late start to her career, four-year-old Nieta has made up for lost time with a sparkling run of form taking her earnings to more than eight times her price tag.

But despite her superb form, at one time her ascendancy was far from assured.

“She’s one of racing’s good stories,” trainer John Thompson said.

“She’s survived a problem already. She had a wind operation so she’s doing all right.”

Thompson believes she is a horse on the rise as she prepares for her first stakes race in Saturday’s Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.

Part-owner Greg De Vries paid $20,000 for Nieta as a yearling and with her career still in its infancy her prize money has already ticked past $160,000.

It’s not the first time De Vries has found a bargain.

He was the principal owner of dual Group One winner Sincero, an $8000 yearling who won more than $1.7 million.

Nieta thrashed her rivals at Rosehill over 1100m on November 12 to record a second successive metropolitan Saturday win.

“The way she won the other day she deserves a chance at trying to get some black type,” Thompson said.

That win took her record to four wins from five starts since coming to Sydney after having her first preparation in Queensland with Thompson’s brother Glen.

“She’s obviously stepping up on Saturday to stakes grade which is always difficult the first time,” Thompson said.

“Everything she’s done at home she’s ticked all the boxes.”

The Patrick Payne-trained Husson Eagle will be ridden by apprentice Michael Dee after Racing NSW maintained its position not to let Miichelle Payne ride because she is a dual licence holder in Victoria.

Big Money is likely to head to Eagle Farm for the Group Three George Moore Stakes, a race the Rod Northam-trained sprinter won two years ago.

Trainer Joe Pride’s two entries, Mr Manhattan and Kuro, are likely to tackle the Sydney race while Shiraz is set to have his first start for Kim Waugh alongside stablemate Supreme Effort.

Beyond the Starlight, the Magic Millions Sprint had loomed as a target for Nieta but after a breakout preparation Thompson is conscious of not overtaxing the lightly raced mare.

“Win, lose or draw she probably goes for a spell after Saturday,” Thompson said.

“She’s been up a long time so I think she deserves a break.”

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