Prominent Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher looks likely to watch Jukebox’s return to the racetrack in the Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday from his hospital bed.
Maher was rushed to hospital with a suspected broken femur after being dumped from his Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka at trackwork this morning.
Maher’s assistant trainer David Eustace told racing.com that Maher was thrown from Jameka when he was trotting the Group 1 winning mare in the exercise area when she whipped around, catching the top Caulfield trainer unawares.
Jameka’s racing days looked over after she was hit with a severe bout of travel sickness following her win in the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival but the mare has made a remarkable recovery and is being prepared for another Spring Carnival campaign.
Jameka scored a win for the locals when she won the 2016 Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
Maher’s new rising stable star Jukebox is set to resume racing in the Sir John Monash Stakes and Maher said earlier in the week that the three year is showing signs of his early brilliant two year old form.
Maher tested Jukebox in an 800m Cranbourne barrier trial, which he won, on May 7 and has since freshened him up for two Winter races, Saturday’s Sir John Monash Stakes and the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28.
“He has come up quite well. He had a trial at Cranbourne and showed that he had come back really well and that is what I wanted to see,” Maher said.
“We got him ready just at an odd time of the year just to see how he was and he smoked up pretty well.
“We have just given him a freshen up and set him for these two races, the Sir John Monash and the Bletchingly.”
“He had another slick gallop here this morning (Tuesday) on the course proper just to tighten him up a little bit more and I think he is coming together really really well.”
“He has got good form here, the 1100m should be no problem. He seems nice and sharp and well and he is right to go on Saturday.”
Jukebox will be having his first run back since finishing fourteenth to Merchant Navy in the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on the first day of the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival in November and has drawn barrier six in the eight horse Sir John Monash Stakes field.
Premiership front runner Craig Williams has been aboard Jukebox for all of his six race starts to date and will be in the saddle again on the weekend.
Jukebox has come in for some early support in the Sir John Monash Staks betting and is currently the $3 favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Darren Weir trained Voodoo Lad at $4.20 and Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra’s Crystal Dreamer at $4.80.