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Kosciuszko contender aiming for a hat-trick in Highway

Nadaraja burst into Kosciuszko calculations with a 4.6 length romp last start and will look to confirm is position in the $1.3 million feature at Randwick on Saturday.

Impressive three-year-old Nadaraja will head to the TAB Highway Handicap (1000m) on Saturday looking to make it three wins in-a-row.

The son of Redoute's Choice was dominant winner in his last start, leading all the way to win by 5.63 lengths in a Class 2 at Scone.

The win saw the up-and-comer firm from $51 into $21 with tab.com.au for The Kosciuszko and is still a chance for the country feature with five spots still yet to be decided.

His trainer Stephen Jones has taken calls from Kosciuszko slot holders about Nadaraja and said the gelding could be the best he's had.

"He's right up there, maybe even the best," he said.

"I've had some handy horses over the years, and I think that he's right up there with them.

"We have had a few calls, but we haven't signed on the dotted line yet.

"If he doesn't run in The Kosciuszko, he'd be going into a black type race."

Nadaraja is still in his first racing preparation, running second on debut before posting back-to-back wins on his home track of Scone.

He's hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year's Kosciuszko winner It's by going from a Maiden win to The Kosciuszko in his first campaign.

Jones said he knew the son of Redoute's Choice had ability but didn't anticipate him to win the way he did last time out.

"I didn't expect it to be that good," he said.

"He was very impressive and ran time.

"I knew he was a really good horse and an improving horse, he just improves so much every race.

"He's (pulled really good and well, he just a machine."

Jones will saddle-up stable stalwart Akasaki at Newcastle on Friday in the $50,000 Hurricane Handicap (900m), a race the eight-year-old has won the past two years.

The son of Nicconi hasn't been seen since finishing eighth in a Benchmark 64 at Newcastle in May but is a proven galloper first-up.

Jones said the eight-year-old is following a similar campaign to what's seen him win the past two renewals Hurricane Handicap.

"He's a really good first-up horse," he said.

"He won this race last year first-up and I think the year before first-up.

"He's going well and he's well in himself.

"He loves being in work and he's working great.

"We haven't trialled him; we never we just take him to the races and he usually performs, first-up especially."

Nadaraja is still sitting as a $21 chance for The Kosciuszko and could be a chance to take one of the final spots on offer with a win on Saturday.


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