Mick Price believes that Jabali is his best winning chance in the 2014 McNeil Stakes, but he revealed this morning that the talented maiden needs to perform well in the Group 3 event at Caulfield this weekend to be any chance of running in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13.
Jabali was extremely well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 16, but the Exceed And Excel colt failed to show a turn-of-foot and he finished a disappointing sixth after never looking like the winner.
Price admitted that he was disappointed with the performance of Jabali in the Vain Stakes, but he told Racing Ahead this morning that he is hoping that a change of tactics will help the three-year-old record his first race win in the McNeil Stakes this weekend.
“Jabali has a new rider and the blinkers on,” Price said.
“I think that Jabali is a free-flowing horse and I think that he is the best chance in the four.
“Barrier 13 is ok because he can just bit by bit work his way across to be outside the speed in the race and we will see him there on the corner.
“I don’t want him held up because I have noticed in trackwork that if he pulls down into the bridle he doesn’t find a lot.
“I just think the other day that he got a bit keen in the bridle, so we are going to let him flow along a bit and it is a bit of a d-day for Jabali.
“He basically has to win to go to the Golden Rose or run very, very well.
“He is going well, he is fit and sound and all is good with him.”
Jabali was placed on three occasions as a three-year-old, finishing second in the Listed Maribyrnong Trials Stakes (1000m), Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) and Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200), but he was unable to breakthrough for a maiden race win.
Jabali is currently available at 2014 McNeil Stakes odds of $8.50, with talented filly Novel Dancer ($5) a narrow favourite from the consistent Stingray ($6.50), Mark Kavanagh-trained Chivalry ($7) and clear market mover Awesome Rock ($7.50).
Price’s other runners Nordic Empire ($11), Cornrow ($14) and Moonovermanhattan ($26) are all available at double figure odds in the McNeil Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.