John Sargent has stake race goals for So Dazzling and Perfect Thought

Classic maestro John Sargent will use Tuesday’s Newcastle meeting to launch So You Think pair Perfect Thought and So Dazzling into two of the spring’s biggest Group 1 features.

Sargent has a place in history as the last trainer to beat Winx courtesy of Gust Of Wind’s ATC Australian Oaks win where Sir Owen Glenn’s mare inflicted what was a rare – and ultimately final – defeat for Chris Waller’s immortal.

Now the High Street master has his sights set on a fourth Wakeful Stakes in 2022 with So Dazzling who will go into the ten-furlong Group 2 ‘one for one’ at Flemington.

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The daughter of dual Cox Plate winner So You Think, started 100/1 on debut in a midweeker at Warwick Farm on August 31 when clocking in an eye-catching fifth.

So Dazzling resurfaced 18-days later at Flemington, this time at $4, winning her 1800m maiden with Damien Oliver in the saddle.

“She is a very laid-back horse at the stables,” Sargent explained. “She is a very unassuming horse but she has got the X-factor there and is a very nice staying filly.

“She doesn’t have to win on Tuesday because she is qualified for the Oaks but she should run well anyway.”

Sargent won the Wakeful three times in the space of four years between 2013 and 2017 with Kirramosa, Thunder Lady and Luvaluva.

“She seems up with other ones,” he said.

“She just goes out there and does her thing. She doesn’t show any brilliance but she is just a nice staying filly with a good attitude.

“Damien rode her at Flemington when she won and he likes her so he will ride her in the Wakeful and the Oaks.”

Sargent is unlikely to chase the VRC Oaks/VRC Derby in 2022 with a couple of other options on the table for the So You Think colt, Perfect Thought.

‘Sarge’ is hoping for a track upgrade at Newcastle on Tuesday from its current Heavy 8 rating given Perfect Thought’s costly defeat as the $2.25 favourite there at his last appearance.

“He was no good on the wet track. He is a lot better than that,” the trainer said.

“Forget that run so as long as it is back to soft, he will run on Tuesday because he is a serious horse.

“If he happens to win there, we will go to the Spring Champion if the track is all right (on the day) otherwise he will go down to Melbourne for the Carbine Club.”

Sargent’s other runner on the Newcastle card on Tuesday is Spiritchaser who is bred to win a Stradbroke.

Her sire, Show A Heart, won the 2002 Brisbane feature at his final start while Sarge’s filly’s fifth dam, Wiggle, famously won the Stradbroke while still a two-year-old.


Gary Nickson-trained gelding Felix Majestic will celebrate his birthday on Wednesday but not before delivering his owner/breeder a gift of their own when he makes his much-anticipated debut at Newcastle on Tuesday.

The son of Smart Missile was foaled on October 12 in 2019 and while almost a full three years have passed since then and his first start, the wait seems to be worth it given his unbridled potential.

“He is owned by a chap called Phillip Katos from Geelong in Melbourne,” Nickson began. “He bred Felix and he has got three or four broodmares down at Twin Hills at Cootamundra where Smart Missile stands.

“The Smart Missiles aren’t two-year olds so we only gave the horse an education as a two-year-old and gave him a bit of time.

“His first trial at Hawkesbury was a good trial. There were a couple of Godolphin horses that finished in front of him that have done well since. And in that trial, he got back and really worked home beautifully.

“Then we brought him back and trialled him at Warwick Farm and he won as he liked.

“He is a ready-made racehorse,” Nickson said. “He is a gem to train. He never gives any trouble and he does everything right.

“He has fantastic gate speed and he hits the ground running. You can ride him back, you can him forward and he seems to handle the (wet) going all right.”

Felix Majestic hasn’t been seen in public since his Warwick Farm trial on July 24 but seems to be going even better in private more recently.

“He had a jumpout last week and it was just like a mini trial,” said Nickson.

“There were eight in the jumpout and he jumped a length in front, led by two and won by three and was doing it easy.”

Nickson has no reason to be worried by Felix Majestic’s wide draw, pointing out the chute start and the one turn, coupled with the heavy conditions, won’t be any excuse should the horse be beaten.

The gelding will get every chance to do his best with Group 1 winning jockey Jason Collett on board.

“I have only ever had one Golden Slipper runner and Jason rode it,” Nickson said.

“That was Alpha Miss. Jason won the Lonhro on her and she ran second to Winx one day.

“Jason is a good bloke and I have been waiting to get him on a decent horse again.”

Originally published as Newcastle preview: John Sargent to launch feature race target with promising pair

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