The Ciaron Maher trained Jukebox can secure a place in the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 25 with a win in the $250,000 Inglis Premier (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Inglis Premier is restricted to horses sold through the Inlgis Sales Series but the prizemoney earned for running in the first three places can be used in balloting conditions for the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes which in run over the same course and distance as Saturday’s race.
Jukebox has earned $12,650 for his win in an 1100m 2yo Maiden at Geelong on January 12 and the Snitzel colt can pick up another $137,500 if he can win the Inglis Premier.
Jukebox will be ridden by Craig Williams and has drawn barrier five in the ten horse field and Maher’s assistant trainer David Eustace said the stable is expecting the colt to finish in the top three on Saturday and progress to the Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes.
“Ciaron has always liked him,” Eustace told AAP.
“He bought him at the Melbourne Premier Sale last year and just thought he was a real natural.
“He’s a very athletic, clear-winded horse and doesn’t require much work and that’s what he sort of loved about him. He’s never really had to teach him anything.
“I’ll be very disappointed if he didn’t finish in the top three on Saturday and get the necessary prize money to get into the Diamond.”
Jukebox has been installed as the $2.35 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Inglis Premier ahead of the Paul Perry trained Perast at $3.60 with Tony McEvoy’s unraced Helmet colt Coppergate also in the betting at $8.
Newcastle trainer Paul Perry has headed south with his Inglis Sales graduate after scoring an impressive three and a half lengths win in an 1100m 2yo Handicap at Scone January 15.
Perast has drawn barrier three in the Inglis Premier with Stephen Baster taking over from Mitchell Bell who had the winning ride at Scone.
Coppergate has drawn the pole position and will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn who got a feel of the colt when second in a 1040m barrier trial at Geelong on January 30.
In early Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au Jukebox is in equal fourth position with Property at $13 behind Pariah at $7, Catchy at $8 and Limestone at $9.