Pakenham Cup Distance a Concern for Desert Jeuney

Desert Jeuney’s pedigree suggests that he should perform well at staying distances, however trainer Nigel Blackiston has revealed that he is unsure if the six-year-old will get the trip when he lines up for the Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) on Saturday.

Desert Jeuney will step up to 2500m in Saturday's Listed Pakenham Cup. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Desert Jeuney will step up to 2500m in Saturday’s Listed Pakenham Cup. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

By prominent sire Desert King, who most famously produced equine superstar Makybe Diva, Desert Jeuney is out of Preps; a mare by the David Hayes-trained Jeune; winner of the 1994 edition of the Melbourne Cup.

Yet to win a race beyond a distance of 2000m, Blackiston told AAP that he is pleased with the general condition of Desert Jeuney leading into the Pakenham Cup 2016, but remains unsure if the horse will figure in the dying stages of the feature race.

“I’m still not 100 per cent convinced he’s a stayer but we’ve come this far now and he’s fit and well so we might as well give it a try,” Blackiston said.

“Hopefully he draws a nice barrier for a change.

“He had barrier 16 last time and we had to go back and it was an on-pace track.

“He finished it off nicely so it warranted heading towards Pakenham now.”

Desert Jeuney’s best performances to date have arguably been produced over a mile; highlighted by strong third-place finishes in each of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and Group 2 Crystal Mile in 2014.

“He was kept a little bit fresher and that seemed to help him back then,” Blackiston said.

“But now as he’s getting a little bit older he’s shown that he possibly will appreciate a little more distance.”

Desert Jeuney has been a strong and largely consistent performer for Blackiston throughout his entire racing career so far; posting five wins and a further six minors through thirty-four starts since making his debut in early 2013.

Resuming this time for twelfth in the Listed Paris Lane Handicap (1400m) on October 2nd, Desert Jeuney failed to beat a single runner home in the Listed Paris Lane Handicap (1400m) second-up but responded well for third in the Listed James Boag’s Premium Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

Again failing to fire when thirteenth in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m), Desert Jeuney was gallant when running on for seventh in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) a fortnight ago.

The 2016 Pakenham Cup field is due to be completed and released by midday, today (November 30th).

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