Group One placegetter Jumbo Prince will use the Weetwood Handicap as a springboard to feature staying races over the winter.
And trainer Michael Nolan believes the four-year-old’s first-up record stamps him as a genuine contender in Saturday’s Listed Weetwood (1200m) at Toowoomba, his home track.
Third in last season’s Queensland Derby (2200m) Jumbo Prince has two wins and a second from four first-up runs and boasts three victories over 1200 metres.
“He has won three of his four starts at 1200 metres and also won his only start at the Toowoomba 1200 metres,” Nolan said.
“There should be pace on and he will be running home hard.”
Jumbo Prince is the TAB’s $6 second favourite for the Weetwood with Sydney sprinter Coolring holding sway at $2.
At the corresponding meeting a year ago, Jumbo Prince won the Toowoomba Guineas (1625m) before competing in the Brisbane three-year-old features.
He ran third in the Rough Habit Plate and sixth in the Grand Prix Stakes before finishing behind Magicool and Werther in the Group One Queensland Derby.
Werther has since been transferred to Hong Kong where he won last month’s Derby.
Although Jumbo Prince had a mixed campaign over the spring and summer, Nolan is confident he is again ready to show his true form.
“You never want to get too far ahead of yourself,” Nolan said.
“But provided he comes up well after Saturday we will be looking to step him up in distances.”
“Races like the Brisbane Cup and Ipswich Cup should suit him very well.”
The Bjorn Baker-trained Coolring comes into the Weetwood on the back of a third behind Malaguerra and Target In Sight in the Group Three Star Kingdom Stakes at Randwick last Saturday week.
Malaguerra is the second favourite behind Press Statement for Saturday’s Group One All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick while Target in Sight is among the leading contenders for the Group Three Hall Mark Stakes (1200m).
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au