Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher is hoping to qualify Jukebox for the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18 in either the Todman Stakes or the Black Opal Stakes.
Jukebox will have to get a vet’s clearance after suffering a burst abscess in his near fore hoof over the weekend before he is allowed to run in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday and the Snitzel colt is also nominated for the Group 3 $300,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on Sunday.
Jukebox needs to earn plenty of prizemoney to earn a spot in the Golden Slipper as he is currently placed sixty-sixth in the latest Order Of Entry that was released by the Australian Turf Club earlier in the week with only $12,650 of his total earnings of $150,150 being eligible for Golden Slipper balloting conditions because the $137,500 first prizemoney he collected for winning the Restricted Listed $250,000 Inglis Premier (1200m) at Caulfield on February 4 is not valid because the race was restricted to two year olds sold through the Inglis Yearling Sales.
Luke Nolen has been booked to ride Jukebox who has drawn barrier three in the fourteen horse Todman Stakes field.
“I think the horse is going really well,” Maher told RSN 927.
“If they [the stewards] can watch him gallop, that’ll satisfy them hopefully.
“Hopefully we can get him spot on and move on towards the Golden Slipper maybe.”
Jukebox was listed as an $8 chance at Ladbokes.com.au when he was taken out of the Blue Diamond Stakes field and his non-appearance has seen him drift to be a $41 chance for the Golden Slipper.
Betting for the Todman Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Jukebox at $13 while the Gerald Ryan trained Menari sits at the top of the market order at $2.90 with the John O’Shea’s Trekking the closest to the favourite at $7.
O’Shea will also saddle up Veranillo who shares the next line of betting at $8 with the favourite’s stablemate Chauffeur.
Menari has had two race starts for a win in an 1100m 2yo Plate at Randwick on January 14 followed by a second to Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes runner up Pariah in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on January 28 and was very impressive in a five and a half lengths win in a 900m Rosehill barrier trial on February 27.
Tim Clark takes the ride on Menari who has drawn barrier two in the Todman Stakes while his stablemate Chauffeur came up with gate ten for Josh Parr.
O’Shea’s two runners have drawn at the opposite ends of the starting gates with Trekking getting barrier twelve with Hong Kong based Zac Purton to ride while Veranillo will jump from gate four with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle.