The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Trainer Ciaron Maher is looking to step his smart colt Jukebox up to 1200m when he faces the starter second up after finishing third over 1100m in the Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Maher is looking at the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28 or the Group 3 $150,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington a fortnight later as Jukebox’s second up options.
“He should improve in every way. He had a bit of a blow-up and out to the 1200 will suit him better,” Maher told RSN’s Racing Pulse.
Jukebox resumed from a spell with rusty performance with a first up third behind Voodoo Lad and Inn Keeper in the Ladbrokes Sir John Monash Stakes last Saturday and Maher expects the colt to take a lot of improvement out of the run.
“He was a colt that hasn’t raced for a while and I thought he got through the line OK,” Maher said.
“He was having a bit of a look when Brad Rawiller came up on Voodoo Lad so I think he’s got a bit of ring-rust.”
Jukebox showed a lot of ability during his two year old season and was undefeated from two race starts as a juvenile and then resumed in the Spring as a three year old for a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield in August.
The Snitzel colt was then runner up at his next two starts in the Group 2 $200,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and in the Group 3 $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
At his final Spring Carnival run before a spell Jukebox was never in the hunt and finished down the track when fourteenth to Merchant Navy in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the first day of the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Maher was forced to watch Jukebox’s first up performance from his hospital bed where he was recovering from surgery for a broken leg he suffered on Friday morning when he was dislodged from his Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka at trackwork.
Maher said Jameka was feeling very well when he was riding her in slow exercise, but a sudden whip around by the mare left the prominent Caulfield trainer on the ground with a serious leg injury.
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