Norwegian Bliss looking to remain unbeaten

She currently has five victories from as many outings and the Nathan Doyle-prepared Norwegian Bliss will be looking to add to the win column at Hawkesbury this weekend.

After stringing four wins together on the bounce in her first campaign, the El Roca mare resumed in fine fashion with a determined victory over an unsuitable 1100m at Hawkesbury a fortnight ago.

Doyle has her dual-nominated this Saturday in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Crown and the Benchmark 78, with both contests over a more preferred journey of 1300m. The Newcastle-based conditioner sees this weekend’s distance being more to his mare’s liking.

“It was quite pleasing to see her win that day (at Hawkesbury first-up),” Doyle told SEN’s Andrew Bensley on Tuesday morning.

“James (McDonald) jumped off and said she was never comfortable at the 1100m. She feels a lot more a miler to him.

“She was always off the bit chasing, but was still able to get the job done.

“She was probably strongest late so we might just weigh it up and see whether we go the Benchmark 78 on Saturday or we jump up to the Crown race. I think once she gets up in trip that’s when you’ll see the best of her.”

Norwegian Bliss has shown adaptability in her five starts to date, winning from in front or when coming from behind, a fact not lost on Doyle.

“She’s pretty versatile and she’s got a good attitude and a will to want to win,” Doyle said.

“That’s half the battle with these horses. She’s a very confident horse at the moment being five from five so hopefully she can take that next step.”

The Gerry Harvey-owned four-year-old has always shown Doyle that she was a galloper with plenty of upside, and perhaps could measure up to stakes company down the track. If she does get a run in the Hawkesbury Crown this weekend, it will be her first attempt at Group level.

“She’s always been a bit of a madam from the time she stepped into the stable. She knew that she was pretty good and wanted to own the place straight up,” Doyle said.

“I guess she does know she has a bit of ability, but we’ll place her right and hopefully she can go on with it and get a bit of black type.”

With 16 winners (32%) from his past 50 runners, Doyle’s Newcastle operation is firing on all cylinders and he is grateful for his team of staff.

“I’ve got to pinch myself actually the season we’ve had, we’ve only got 35 in work. To get the winners we’ve had I think it’s a credit to the staff we’ve got here at home, they’ve done a terrific job,” Doyle said.

“(They’ve) turned them out in good order. You’ve got to have a good team around you and we’ve definitely got that.”

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