It is shaping-up as a huge year for Benjamin...
A tendon injury has ruled last year’s Melbourne Cup third place getter Jakkalberry from another shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ this spring.
The Marco Botti-trained European stayer, owned by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB), travelled down under last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for a dual cups assault.
Coming off an impressive win in the American St Leger Stakes (2714m) at Arlington that August the Storming Home stallion was disappointing in their debut down under.
Aussie punters first got a glimpse of them in the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) but they could only manage to finish six and a half lengths away 13th to 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden.
They atoned 17 days later at Flemington however when running an excellent third behind the Lloyd Williams-owned winner Green Moon and runner-up Alcopop in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) as an $80 roughie.
From there they travelled to Asia for an 11th to Gentildonna in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2413m), struggling with the drop back from two to one and half miles.
Jakklaberry resumed off a three and a half months spell this March at Meydan and were back to their best.
Racing well fresh the Newmarket-based galloper was able to beat home Await The Dawn by half a length to win the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold Cup (2410m).
Having injured a tendon during the run however Jakkalberry has been on the sidelines since then.
While originally connections and Botti were hoping to have them back to race fitness in time for a spring carnival assault down under, it’s now become clear they are too far behind in their work to make the trip.
“He’s back in exercise but we just feel we are running out of time,” Botti told PAA this week.
“I’ve spoken to the owners and we’ve decided to give the Melbourne Cup a miss. It’s a long way and the time would be tight.”
They were one of the original nominees for the 2013 Caulfield Cup, running on October 19, but have since been taken out of the futures betting markets on the classic.
Instead Botti said they would focus their attentions on the Dubai World Cup Carnival in March next year based on what the horse showed their this year.
“The horse has done well in Dubai so we will head to the Carnival instead,” Botti said.
“There are a few races he could run in. Obviously there’s the mile-and-a-half race (Sheema Classic) and the Dubai Gold Cup on World Cup night where he was supposed to run this year.
“We are spoilt for a choice for races for a stayer like him.”
While Jakkalberry is out of action the international presence during this year’s spring cups is set to be high with lots of talented raiders in the mix.
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