J&B MET (Grade 1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 2000m
2 February 2013
J&B Met favourite Jackson looked in fine shape at the Philippi training centre earlier this week, although trainer Brett Crawford won’t go into Saturday’s race without any concerns. The yard is also quietly confident of a good run from their other J&B Met runner, Black Wing.
Jackson is not the most well behaved horse at the starting stalls and having to jump from the pens twice in the Grade 1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate did him no favours. “He is an adrenalin horse,” said Crawford, implying the first jump would have taken a bit out of him. In the second start he was taken up handy. That is not his usual style, but the connections had already tried dropping him out from a wide draw in the Grade 2 Green Point Stakes and against a horse like Variety Club the ground can just not be made up. He over raced in the Queen’s Plate early on, so showed huge heart to still get up for second. However, the whole experience took its toll and he pulled up very distressed, suffering from heat exhaustion. Crawford, talking about his post race condition, said, “It is obviously always in the back of your mind. We did all we could for him and are happy that he has bounced back, but we would have preferred it if that false start hadn’t happened.”
Jackson is a big, strong horse, which will give him a good chance of overcoming the post race experience. However, the experience at the starting stalls, when difficult to load for the first start and then having to go through the whole process again, might be more of a concern, although the yard are sure to have done plenty of schooling at the pens since then. A big plus for his chances is that he has at last landed a good draw. Furthermore, he is unbeaten in two starts over the 2000m trip, both of the races in Grade 1s. He will not have to be chased from his draw of five, so should have something in reserve to launch his devastating finishing kick. He also always runs all the way to the line, with the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July over 2200m being the only exception. Crawford reckoned the four-year-old Dynasty colt still had a relaxed temperament and pointed at his form. “He’s only been beaten by Variety Club in his last two starts and I think he would have got closer last time without the false start.” Talented jockey Karis Teetan will be aboard.
Jackson strode out well Monday when doing some light work on the light sand track.
Crawford said the Summerhill-bred Black Wing was doing very well and confirmed that he would relish the step up in trip. “It will be tough, but he’s in good form, ran a good last race and you never know what might happen with luck in running. He came from way back in the Grade 2 Peninsula Handicap to finish three lengths back to Hill Fifty Four and is now 3kg better off.” Black Wing is drawn nine with Felix Coetzee aboard.
Extract from Gold Circle