ASTUTE horseman Christopher Nicol has issued a sound warning ahead of next weekend’s Cup Final in Port Pirie.
Nicol is poised to contest the $25,000 feature with veteran pacer, Assassinator, which rounded out his campaign with a stylish success in yesterday’s Victor Harbor Cup.
Thanks to his Kapunda Cup triumph four starts earlier, Assassinator heads into the decider as the only dual Cup winner.
If the 11-year-old’s form isn’t enough to warrant concern, Nicol revealed Assassinator has come through his latest appearance in fine fashion.
“I chucked him in a paddock today and he is bouncing around like an idiot,” Nicol said. “So he is taking the runs in his stride.
“He’s feeling pretty good about himself and carrying on like a horse half his age.
“My son Justin does most of the work with him and has him in terrific condition.”
Driven by Dani Hill, Assassinator was eased away from barrier five as the Aaron Bain-trained favourite Ideal World led from the pole.
Gaining a three-wide trail during the latter stages, Assassinator sprinted to a nine-and-a-half metre win from Brantley.
Hesashark was seven metres away third in 1:57 over 2160 metres.
“The draw was going to be tricky as he had to go back or try to slot in somewhere, but it worked out well as he got the cart into it,” Nicol said.
“He races best when he has a helmet to follow, which he showed again yesterday.
“He is due for a good draw, so hopefully will come in the Final next Saturday night.”