A batted and bruised Jonker is ready to bounce back from a disastrous Magic Millions campaign when he resumes for the 2018 Spring Carnival in the Group 3 $150,000 Singapore Airlines San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Jonker was sent out as one of the top fancies for the 2018 $2m Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast in January after winning his only two starts previously but suffered severe interference mid race before tailing off to finish at the tail of the sixteen horse field.
Jonker scored on debut in the $50,000 Max Lees Classic (900m) at Newcastle on December 3 and then went onto score a brilliant four and a quarter lengths win in the $200,000 Wyong Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1100m) at Wyong on December 21 before heading to the Gold Coast.
Trainer David Atkins believes that Jonker has completely recovered from his rough house experience in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic and expects the Spirit Of Boom colt to be very competitive when he lines up against some smart three year olds in the San Domenico Stakes.
“He had a few bumps and bruises coming out of the Magic Millions race but apart from that, he was fine,’’ Atkins told The Daily Telegraph.
“There is no issue with his confidence, he galloped between horses in his trial without a problem.’’
“This colt is pretty smart, he’s got a lot of natural ability.’’
“We gave him a good break after the Magic Millions, we missed the autumn and he has come back well.”
Jonker was able to nose out San Domenico Stakes rival Graff in a recent 800m Gosford barrier trial and was very alert when he galloped in between races at Taree last week.
Atkins is aiming Jonker towards the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 22 and the Newcastle trainer has no doubts that the colt will run out a strong 1400m.
“I have no doubt he will run 1400m, so all going well on Saturday, we will go to the Run To The Rose next and then see if we press on to the Golden Rose,’’ Atkins said.
The Group 2 $200,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on September 8 will be Jonker’s second up Spring Carnival outing.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown will be having his first race ride on Jonker who will jump from barrier two in the nine horse San Domenico Stakes field.
Pre-race betting at Ladbrokes,com.au for the San Domenico Stakes has Jonker marked at $8 alongside of Tchaikovsky in an open betting race that has six of the nine runners under the $10 mark.
The Chris Waller trained Performer holds a slight advantage at the top of the market order at $3.70 just ahead of Plague Stone at $4.40, Neutrality at $4.60 and Graff at $7.