Ageing warrior still a beaut

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Emerging trainer Nikki Davies is thrilled by the efforts of her eight-year-old Transgressor.
Camera IconEmerging trainer Nikki Davies is thrilled by the efforts of her eight-year-old Transgressor. Credit: Justin Fris

Age is often no barrier in horse racing, with experienced trainers, runners and owners routinely finishing at the business end of major races.

Forrest Beach-based trainer Nikki Davies and her eight-year-old Transgressor are no different.

After being backed by his owner Kirsty Wardle, Davies has teamed up with her partner Brendan and the stalwart has not looked back, winning three of his last four races.

“He is such a tough horse and he loves being in work,” she said. “He has almost found another leg in this prep due to the blinkers being put on.

“He is just flying and I cannot be prouder.”

Regardless of what he produces for the remainder of his career, the veteran will always hold a place in Davies’ heart, after generating plenty of unforgettable moments.

“Transgressor was the first winner I had in my home town of Narrogin and he was also my first metro win at Ascot.

“I also am very thankful to have support from Brendan, but also Kirsty, who always supports younger trainers.”

Aside from his natural desire and heart, Davies feels continuity in the saddle has also played an important part.

“Joey Azzopardi was our main man before, but he went to Singapore for a stint,” she said. “And since then, we have found a nice apprentice named Chris Graham.

“He gets along with Transgressor really well. We generally like to keep the same rider on the horse.”

Davies believes the eight-year-old has the ability to shake things up at Ascot on Saturday afternoons if he is good enough.

“It is tricky now because he is so high in the ratings,” she said. “He has probably got only one more win left in town.

“In saying that, he goes up in grade on a Saturday now, so we have just got to hope he stays in form and can tackle those nicer Saturday horses.”

And the secret to Transgressor’s winning formula?

“He does a lot of his work in the water at Forrest Beach,” she said. “He is very lightly galloped. We have our own track on the railway line, so he very rarely goes to the Bunbury track.

“He does not need a lot of work as he runs better fresh. We train him to stay sound but 90 per cent of it is done in the water.”

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