A plan to erase any lingering memory scars from a traumatic Magic Millions tilt three years ago has Jonker primed for revenge in Saturday’s $1M Snippets on the Gold Coast.
Jonker started one of the favourites in Sunlight’s MM 2YO Classic, but Hugh Bowman was lucky to stay in the saddle after severe early interference nearly put the pair through the inside fence.
With that experience in mind, Gollan decided to venture away from Brisbane to give Jonker a Gold Coast barrier trial earlier this month.
“I was very pleased I brought him to the Gold Coast for that trial. A horse that had the interference he had down here as a two-year-old, it’s important to bring them back to the scene of the crime to give them some confidence,” the trainer said.
“I thought he did that well.”
Jonker had been out of the winners’ circle for almost three years before he debuted for Gollan in the Keith Noud Stakes and broke Takeover Target’s longstanding track record.
He was then gunned down by Hard Empire in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes three weeks later.
“It’s hard when a horse at his first run for you brings a ratings peak to the races,” Gollan said.
“I had three weeks to the next one, he went up a little bit in weight and he only ran 0.3 (seconds) slower. Marrying it all up, he wasn’t that far away from his first up rating.
“We’ve been able to back off him, six weeks between runs and in doing that, we’ve got a nice fresh horse, fresh in the legs, a fit horse and hopefully we can get back to that first up rating.
“We will be on our bike from the gate and put him into the race and whatever can beat him is going to have to run some pretty fair time.”
Gollan is Queensland’s leading Magic Millions feature winning trainer, with the tally currently standing at five, leaving him behind only Chris Waller (8 wins) and Gai Waterhouse (13 wins, plus one with Adrian Bott).
He won two races last year and has runners in seven races on Saturday.
Isotope is the most fancied, as she heads betting in the eagerly anticipated Magic Millions Guineas.
“The big question mark for her and the second favourite (Away Game) is the 1400m. The way she raced last time says she will, but until they tick that box, there’s that little something there,” Gollan said.
“I’m excited for the race and confident we have done everything to have her spot on for it.”
Originally published asJonker to give crime scene a Snip
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