Jonker claims Magic Millions Snippets
It took three years longer than expected but Jonker can finally claim the title of a Magic Millions winner.
Ridden by Jim Byrne and starting a $4.80 favourite, Jonker led most of the way to win the Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) by a length from Exhilarates ($8) with Roheryn ($9) a half length away third.
As a two-year-old Jonker was one of the leading contenders for the Magic Millions but was severely checked soon after the start and dropped out to finish last to Sunlight.
A period in the wilderness followed before Jonker made his way to the stables of leading trainer Tony Gollan and rediscovered winning form.
The five-year-old broke the 1200-metre track record at Doomben when he won the Keith Noud Quality in November prompting Gollan to target the Magic Millions Snippets.
“I didn’t know what to expect with this horse when he came to me but when he broke the track record at Doomben I knew we had a really serious horse on our hands,” Gollan said.
“I was so disappointed when he got beaten at his second run for us but this was a real target race.”
Gollan believes Jonker can be a force to be reckoned with during the winter carnival.
“There’s a real sense of fulfilment winning this race today and he’s a proper sprinter,” Gollan said.
“He can go on and win a good race this year.”
The Doomben 10,000, the Kingsford-Smith Cup and the Stradbroke Handicap are Group One targets high on the agenda for Jonker during the winter carnival.
Gollan made it a winning double 35 minutes later when Krone stormed home to win the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares (1300m).
Ridden superbly by Ryan Maloney and backed from $51 into $31, Krone weaved between runners in the straight and made a late lunge to win by a half-head from the $2.80 favourite Athiri who was being hailed the winner when she hit the lead in final 150 metres.
“I just knew this mare’s been going super all prep and I’m just so proud of her,” Gollan said.
“Here today was where we were always going to try to peak her and it’s worked out perfectly.”
Krone will be spelled and aimed at the Group One Tatt’s Tiara during the winter carnival.
“She’s a winter carnival mare and that will be her swansong,” Gollan said.