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Nakeeta Jane delivers Newnham another G1

Nakeeta Jane
Nakeeta Jane: the best filly in the country, says jockey Joshua Parr.

Winning jockey Josh Parr has labelled Nakeeta Jane the best filly in Australia after she scored an against-the-odds win in the Surround Stakes at Randwick to record her maiden Group One success.

In a race that didn’t go to plan, Parr thought Nakeeta Jane had just missed when she dived at Fundamentalist on the line after enduring an awkward run throughout.

“When I pulled up, if there was a cat around I would have kicked it,” Parr said.

“What a great filly. It was really ugly how I rode her. It was a slowly run race and there was no spot for her; sheer tenacity and ability got her home.

“She’s a freakish filly. She’s the best filly in the country.”

Nakeeta Jane gave trainer Mark Newnham the second Group One win of his career after Maid Of Heaven’s Spring Champion Stakes success last year.

Newnham gave up on Nakeeta Jane’s winning chances on the home turn when the filly was pushed wide and said the fact she had won at the highest level at just her fifth start on Saturday proved her quality.

“She got shunted off on the corner and I’d sort of given up hope,” Newnham said.

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“But then she just kept extending and extending and to just get there on the line was fantastic.

“She is very special. To do what she’s done in that number of starts, she’s top class and she proved it today.”

Newnham will see how Nakeeta Jane comes through the Surround win but is seriously considering backing her up against the colts and geldings in next weekend’s Randwick Guineas.

That will mean a clash with top colt The Autumn Sun, a challenge Newnham isn’t shying away from.

“Looking at the Australian Guineas today there wouldn’t be many back up from that,” he said.

“I can see a small field here. Taking on The Autumn Sun is obviously not an easy assignment but it could actually be a good lead-up for her into the Vinery going week-to-week, going to a mile and then going to the 2000 three weeks later.

“We’ll see how she pulls up but for her to be a Group One winner over 1400 when her best distance is still to come, it’s pretty exciting stuff.”

Backed from $4.80 to start $3.60 favourite, Nakeeta Jane scored by a half-head over Fundamentalist ($14) with El Dorado Dreaming ($19) doing her best work late another head away.

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