By Ray Hickson
Trainer Wendy Roche says her Doncaster winning mare Nettoyer is ready to go again at Randwick on Saturday after a week she’ll never forget.
“Chaotic doesn’t touch the sides,’’ Roche said when asked how the past few days have been.
“It was more intense when I had Here De Angels racing Black Caviar but it’s all pretty surreal to tell you the truth.”
For all the right reasons Nettoyer has been on the front page of newspapers, on TV news bulletins, and everybody has wanted to talk to the underdog trainer about her racehorse with the very Australian eating habits.
There’s been no pizza for the mare, though, since last weekend as Roche aims at a second Group 1 in the $500,000 Coolmore Legacy (1600m).
Glen Boss rides Nettoyer on Saturday as he was booked for the feature mares race prior to the Doncaster which handed James Innes Jnr his first Group 1.
“She’s recovered from her run, she’s back to 517kg today so she has to put on 4kg by Saturday,’’ Roche said.
“She had a sprint up to lift her blood up because she gets lazy. She’s walked and rolled and she gets ridden every day just to keep her ticking over and mentally happy.
“I think she’s going into Saturday with confidence and it’s just a matter of Bossy getting her to the barriers.
“When she gets there she’s fine, she’s just so intelligent and I think she just likes the drama.’’
Nettoyer was an outsider at $41 in the Doncaster but she’s holding the second line of betting with TAB at $8.50 in the Coolmore Legacy as she chases her fifth win over the Randwick 1600m.
She has a classy filly in Funstar, and 14 other mares, to beat but when you're a Doncaster winner you've earned respect.
Two years ago when Nettoyer ran ninth behind Alizee in the Coolmore Legacy she was a $71 chance in what was her first attempt at a Group 1. She's now contested eight of them.
As you’d imagine she clocked the fastest last 600m of the Doncaster, running 35.75 (Punter’s Intelligence) or two lengths faster than anything else, and Roche said she hopes Boss can get Nettoyer to the outside and give her the chance to unwind that big finish again.
“She’s in career best form and she just loves the Randwick mile,’’ she said.
“The pace was on in the Doncaster as it normally is an everything just fell into place. You couldn’t have written a book or a movie or a script any better than how it prevailed on the weekend.
“She’s such a tradesman in her work. That’s why the public love her.
“She gets the heart pumping when she flies home, the person sitting at home sees this horse flying down the outside. She's exciting.”
Nettoyer wins the Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick
The race went to script last weekend as the six-year-old gave Roche and jockey James Innes Jnr their biggest wins when she rounded up a quality field to take out racing’s ‘fifth major’.
While there wasn’t the usual 20,000-plus crowd for Day 1 of The Star Championships, Roche said it was a special experience in its own way.
She's now a Group 1 winning trainer and the horse whose ability she's always backed, by always buttering up for a challenge, is a Doncaster winner.
“I did enough jumping up and down for everyone,’’ she said.
“The jockeys with the comradeship they gave James Innes Jnr was special, I was just standing in the tunnel and screaming and making an atmosphere exist.
“If the crowd was there that wouldn’t have happened.”