Paul St Vincent’s forgotten Tamworth sprinter The Jackal will return to racing after a 17 month hiatus at Grafton next Wednesday during the Clarence River Jockey Cub’s $1 million July Grafton Cup Carnival as they vie for a third win in the 2012 Ramornie Handicap.
The now nine-year-old Bite The Bullet gelding will be lining up for their incredible 61st career start for the $150,000 Listed WHK Ramornie Handicap (1200m), a race they already boast dual victories in.
The Jackal first enjoyed Ramornie Handicap success back in 2007 when they took out the feature carrying 58kg, fresh off their maiden Group race success in that year’s Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
A year-long winning drought was to follow before they became a dual Ramornie Handicap winner in the winter of 2008.
Absent from the 2009 edition, The Jackal given a seven and a half month spell after their Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes (1100m) win at Rosehill in March of 2009, they returned to the Ramornie Handicap field in 2010 and ran a brave fourth when beaten one and a half lengths by the Peter Snowden-trained Pinwheel.
Darley Australia’s head trainer Snowden took out successive Ramornies with Pinwheel’s stablemate Jerezana taking out the feature last year.
The Jackal meanwhile hasn’t raced since February last year when running third to Essington in the listed Falvelon Handicap (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
They are set to return to the tracks for this year’s Ramornie, St Vincent hopeful of a good first-up performance from the veteran after so long on the sidelines.
“He’s had a couple of little niggles, just stupid little niggles, that have taken time to get over,” St Vincent said.
“I’d get one right then he’d have another one so I just kept backing off.
“I haven’t eased up of him since the last one.
“He trialled in December here at Tamworth and pulled up a bit dodgy but he hasn’t been out of work since.
“I swum him for four months before we got back into him.
“He’s had a few gallops and so far he’s going really well and starting to look good.”
There is still a chance however that St Vincent will withdraw The Jackal from the race saying he wouldn’t risk running the popular old warhorse unless they were 100 percent.
“He’s good. All’s well so far,” he said.
“He’s a bit woolly because he’s lives out in the bush but I can tell you when it gets to about minus four out here at Tamworth in the morning you want a bit of hair on ya.
“He’s having a jump-out on Saturday morning. If he gets through that all right I’ll sense his fitness exactly with a gallop on Monday morning, check the weather and decide if we accept.
“He’s been a great old horse and I’m only going to start him if he can win.”
A total of 29 sprinters were nominated for the 2012 WHK Ramornie Handicap this year including the Gary Portelli-trained Eight Bills, Con Karakatsanis’ in-form Written Tycoon three-year-old Howmuchdoyouloveme, ultra-consistent Magic Albert four-year-old Magic Cassius, first-up WJ Healy Stakes winner River Lad and the Joe Pride-trained See The World fresh off a win in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford.
Snowden meanwhile will shoot for his third consecutive win having nominated for Parthian and Skytrain.
The 2012 Ramornie Handicap weights will be released by Racing NSW on Friday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2012 WHK Ramornie Handicap Nominations
Grafton – 11/07/2012
|1||BOLD GLANCE||Norm Hilton||–|
|2||CUBAN DANCER||Ken Faulds||72|
|3||DINKY MINK||Neil Godbolt||67|
|4||EIGHT BILLS||Troy Portelli||90|
|5||FALCO STAR||Liam Birchley||–|
|7||HEART TO FEAR||Alicia Willick||77|
|10||MAGIC CASSIUS||Angela Davies||–|
|11||MARTIN PLACE||Jason Coyle||79|
|12||MONTANA FLYER||Terry Commerford||91|
|14||OLLIE VOLLIE||Sue Grills||87|
|16||PERSIAN STORM||Patrick & Wayne Webster||66|
|17||PIMPALA SECRET||Gordon Yorke||84|
|18||PROST||John P Thompson||–|
|19||RIVA DE LAGO||Con Karakatsanis||–|
|20||RIVER LAD||Natalie Mccall||–|
|21||SEE THE WORLD||Joseph Pride||92|
|23||SKATING ON ICE||Les Kelly||–|
|25||SUTTON QUEEN||Luke Griffith||85|
|26||THE JACKAL||Paul St Vincent||102|
|27||THE SIXTIES||Tracy Green||–|
|28||WELKOM GOLD||Darren Smith||97|
|29||YOUTHFUL JACK||Ross Stitt||98|