It’s Back In The Day has his day

There’s been plenty of confidence from the Nicholson camp as to the ability of Its Back In The Day and now the horse has thrown his hoof up as a potential challenger for October’s Victoria Cup.

The John Nicholson-trained pacer produced a breathtaking performance to win the DNR Logistics East Versus West Pace Final (4YO and older) on Saturday night, sitting parked outside the leader for much of the 2240m trip before pulling away to win by more than 15m in a slick 1:53.4min mile rate.

Nicholson’s son Rhys is no stranger to saluting the judge aboard winning horses and gave one of his best efforts as the son of Washington VC cruised to his 11th career victory.

“It’s been a long time coming. We know at home what he puts in and how good the horse is, it’s just good for the owners to put it on the track today,” he said after the race.

“I don’t know the last time I seen a horse three-wide the trip chasing a 43-second lead time, never back it off and sit in the chair and run away from them.”

Despite working hard through the early stages to find a position in the race, Nicholson still had plenty of horse approaching the final stretch and wasn’t afraid to let his rivals know about it.

“It was pretty funny. I said to Kate Gath (Arden Voyager) at the 400m ‘you’ll see how good he is now’ – that’s how much horse I had left in me,” he said.

Its Back In The Day’s success came at his third run back from a break and took his career earnings to over $80,000.

The 2020 Tasmanian Cup runner-up is now a $71 chance for the group 1 Victoria Cup, which is scheduled for October 12. He sits well down the line of betting behind favourite Ride High, which produced the third quickest mile rate at Tabcorp Park while winning Saturday night’s Melton City Council Sprint.

Gath had a laugh about Nicholson’s quiet words during the race and labelled Its Back In The Day as “simply outstanding”.

“They just rarely ever do that. I was thinking ‘I wish I had a horse that could do that’ and I’ve got some nice horses,” she said.

“It’s obviously an exciting horse for the future and I know they’ve had a big opinion of it since they’ve had him. Now we’re really seeing what he can do and he’s scarily good.”