A win by Jumbo Prince in the Listed $160,000 McKimms Real Estate Grafton Cup (2350m) at Grafton on Thursday will be a just reward for the Toowoomba trained stayer.
Jumbo Prince is well overdue for win after finishing second at his last two starts behind Maurus in the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on June 18 and behind Amexed in the Listed $175,000 Cellar Maintenance Australia Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 2.
Trainer Michael Nolan said that Jumbo Prince was pencilled in for a spell after the Caloundra Cup but when he pulled up in great condition, decided to continue his preparation and head to Grafton.
“We were always going to stop after the Caloundra Cup – that was going to be the end of the campaign,’’ Nolan told The Courier-Mail.
“However, the Grafton Cup comes around quite close after and by the way Jumbo Prince has pulled up and the way he’s done, we thought it’s a matter of getting on a truck.’’
“It’s a bit of a drive but it’s worth having a crack at it.’’
Nolan said that Jumbo Prince is a very consistent performer but he failed to produce his best at his previous campaign, failing to fill a place in his last four starts over the summer months.
“He’s come up every prep apart from the one last Summer. We had the Magic Millions Cup in mind that campaign but he probably just didn’t race as good and the weather was very hot which probably didn’t help him,” Nolan said.
“He is a good winter horse and he is a very good stayer. We had to run in a few mile races early on in the winter carnival to get him ready for these races and once he got out to the 2000m he’s gone terrific.’’
Leading Brisbane jockey Jim Byrne has been on board Jumbo Prince for his last five starts and will also make the trip to Grafton to maintain his association with the Toowoomba stayer.
Jumbo Prince has drawn barrier six in the fifteen horse Grafton Cup field and Byrne will no doubt settled him in his usual position in the second half of the field.
The betting for the Grafton Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au has Jumbo Prince on the third line at $5.50 behind the John O’Shea trained Malice at $4.60 and Caloundra Cup winner Amexed at $4.80.
Grafton Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Malice, $4.80 Amexed, $5.50 Jumbo Prince, $6 Index Linked, $9 Foreign Prince, $15 Teronado, $18 Jiayuguan, All Clear, $21 Brave Ali, Swift Lady, $26 Rednav, Dream Folk, $31 Egyptian Ruler, $91 Light Motion, $101 Kingston Time.