Reece Jones has a real soft spot for talented miler Jojo Was A Man and is rapt to have the chance to enhance an already impressive record on the gelding at Hawkesbury on Saturday.
It’s been just under 12 months since Jones first partnered the John Thompson-trained galloper, to a Canterbury win in May last year, and in that time he’s won five races from 10 rides.
If Jojo Was A Man can win the Group 3 $200,000 Richmond Club Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) he’ll become Jones’s winningest horse – he’s also partnered Spiranac and Wild Chap to five wins.
“He’s been a super horse to me, we’ve got a great association and the owners have been supportive of me and the same with John,’’ Jones said.
Jones was unable to ride Jojo Was A Man, $14 with TAB on Friday, in his fifth placing behind Tamerlane at Randwick last weekend due to a commitment to the John O’Shea stable.
He said based on how the five-year-old felt in his first-up run, and feedback from last week, there’s every reason to think the Hawkesbury Cup isn’t beyond him.
“He handles the back up well, he’s getting up to his preferred distance now and I think he’s been racing well,’’ he said.
“His first-up run was nice without threatening with 1200m far too short for him and again over 1400m he held his spot nicely. From all reports Tom Marquand was happy with him last start.”
There’s little concern from Jones about Jojo Was A Man’s tricky barrier as he says the horse will naturally roll forward.
Prior to a break he comfortably won two 1600m races at Randwick in the space of seven days.
“He generally begins well and puts himself nice and handy,’’ he said.
“It looks like Hosier will probably lead up and hopefully I can keep floating across and sit just on the speed or behind the speed.
“If we get a bit of cover great but if he doesn’t it’s not the worst thing in the world.
“He’s a galloping horse and he loves his rhythm and building into a good rhythm so if he doesn’t end up in cover it’s okay because he’s won a few races doing just that.”
Jones is also building a successful partnership with Scott Singleton’s mare Dollar Magic and he’ll shoot for his third win at his sixth ride in the TAB Highway (1100m).
The lightly raced four-year-old backed up a first-up second to the flying Mogo Magic at Randwick in February with a strong Class 2 win at Scone a month ago.
“She’s in terrific order and she franked that (Highway) form at Scone winning quite well when a few things went against her,’’ he said.
“She was able to be quite dominant in the way she won.
“The owners have been very supportive of me and I’d be quite special to get a win in a Highway in their colours.”
– Racing NSW