Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher will be racing against time to get his unbeaten colt Jukebox fit and qualified to run in the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18.
Jukebox is currently placed sixty-sixth in the latest Order Of Entry for the Golden Slipper that was released by the Australian Turf Club today 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.
Jukebox was controversially scratched by Racing Victoria Stewards from the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield last Saturday when they were not happy with his action when their vets inspected him on Friday afternoon.
The Snitzel colt was listed as an $8 chance at Ladbokes.com.au when he was taken out of the Blue Diamond Stakes field and Maher is hoping to get the colt cleared to run in the Todman Stakes and hopefully win it to qualify for the Golden Slipper.
Maher insisted that Jukebox presented as normal last Friday and disagreed with the stewards’ finding but the stewards released a statement on twitter this morning saying that an abscess on the colt’s near fore hoof had burst on Saturday.
“Veterinary: C.Maher stable advise today Jukebox had abscess in near fore hoof which burst on Sat. RV vets will monitor progress this week,” the Racing Victoria tweeted.
Maher now has to patch up his star two old year but thinks he will be right to gallop later in the week in front of the stewards and be passed fit to run in the Todman Stakes.
“That’s the idea of getting in contact today, and see if they can come watch him gallop … 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.”
Silver Slipper Stakes winner She Will Reign and last Saturday’s Skyline Stakes winner Diamond Tathagata are exempt from the ballot for the Golden Slipper and sit at the top of the order of entry while On More Honey who won the Group 2 $200,000 Vale Edgar Britt OAM Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday is also exempt from the ballot but is yet to be nominated for the world’s richest two year old race.
Last Saturday’s Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy is next in the order of entry with $1.102 million prizemoney in her kitty with runner-up Pariah next with $391,750.
As well as having Catchy up high in the Golden Slipper Order Of Entry, the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig also have three other youngsters in the top ten, Formality (5th), Tulip (8th) and Wait For No One (9th).
Also in the top ten is the John O’Shea trained Veranillo (6th), Michael Freedman’s Teaspoon (7th) and Serena Bay (10th) from Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s Tulloch Lodge.
The next ten two-year-olds in the Golden Slipper Order Of Entry are Khan, Invincible Star, Jorda, Madeenaty, Ducimus, Exceeds, Menari, Houtzen, Cao Cao and Roomooz.
Early market order for the Golden Slipper at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3 She Will Reign, $8 Houtzen, Menari, $11 Catchy, Pariah, $15 Chauffeur, Veranillo, $17 Muraaqeb, Trekking, $21 Formality, From Within, Jorda, Limbo Soul, Madeenaty, $$26 or better the rest.