For the second time this spring the Melbourne based pedigree analyst Kristen Manning was cheering home a stakes winner when, at Doomben on Saturday, Jonker raced away to a record-breaking victory in the Listed Keith Noud Quality.
Having his first run for the Tony Gollan stable, the son of Spirit Of Boom was the medium of heavy support on the back of an impressive trial victory and, despite doing a bit of early work from a tricky gate, he was able to dictate terms on pace.
With his rivals off the bit straightening, Jonker gave a good kick half way down the straight – his winning margin 4 1/2 lengths, the 1200m covered in 1.7.83 seconds (final 600m in 33.28) which broke record previously held by the globe-trotting multiple Group One winning champion Takeover Target.
“Once he flew the gates I knew we were in business,” said a delighted Gollan who of course also trained Jonker’s wonderful sire Spirit Of Boom.
“He is a pretty exciting horse and he will prove hard to get past all summer,” he added, noting that he thinks of Spirit Of Boom when he sees Jonker each morning – “of all the breed I have trained he is the one who really reminds me of his sire.”
Jim Byrne was having his first ride on Jonker, a horse who promised the world at two winning his first couple (the Max Lees Classic and the Wyong Magic Millions) by wide margins only to fall victim to severe interference in Sunlight’s Magic Millions.
“I knew we were going quickly,” Byrne said when learning of Jonker’s time, adding that he was always confident – “I had a lapful of horse coming into the straight.”
Hailing from Spirit Of Boom’s debut crop, Jonker was bred by Wicklow Lodge’s Jeff Cullen, also proud breeder of the exciting young stallion Winning Rupert who threatened the same track record in late 2016.
He is the third foal and second winner for the speedy, highly regarded Hearts And Arrows who won her first two starts before injury brought her racing career to an early end. A half-sister to the Gr.3 winners Fiscal Fantasy and Fair Trade, she was recently confirmed back in foal to Spirit Of Boom, a mating Manning has always loved.
“Hearts And Arrows (also a Manning mating plan) boasts crosses of the great mares Oceana and Eight Carat… Spirit Of Boom brings in a third Oceana strain whilst his pedigree is strongly influenced by the great Lady Josephine family from which Eight Carat hails.”
“Mick Kent had a massive opinion of Hearts And Arrows and we still think of her as our ‘what if’ horse. Whilst the ownership group were not breeders it was wonderful that Jeff Cullen, a childhood friend of the Kent family, was able to take her on and he has done a great job with her.”
Also dam of the multiple city winner Beau Arrow, Hearts And Arrows hails from the same branch of the thriving Cotehele House family as the Manning bred Gr.3 winner Quilate who this spring produced an outstanding filly by Jonker’s sire Spirit Of Boom.
Manning also bred, and races with friends, the talented metropolitan winner Diode whose dam Irreversible is a half-sister to Hearts And Arrows.
Jonker’s stakes win comes on the back of a W.S Cox Plate Day Gr.3 success for Portland Sky, a lightly raced and exciting three-year-old result of a Manning mating plan. “He too has a lovely pedigree with multiple strains of the Selene and Aloe families,” Manning said.