Magic Millions: A Closer Look at Jonker
For the second year in a row Wicklow Lodge’s Jeff Cullen has been looking forward to the rich Magic Millions race day, so very proud that a horse he bred is hot favourite for the feature two-year-old contest.
Last year, as breeder of star sprinter Winning Rupert, Cullen was hopeful of a Magic Millions 3Y0 Guineas victory and for a good sales result for another favourite colt, a well put together son of Spirit Of Boom and the talented mare Hearts And Arrows.
Whilst Winning Rupert was not to win – though he lost no fans with a close-up fourth before heading to Newgate Stud where he proved hugely popular with broodmare owners – the Wicklow colt found a good home with Newcastle trainer David Atkins.
Fast forward 12 months and that colt has developed and matured into the imposing fellow that is Jonker, current favourite for Magic Millions and one of the most exciting young horses in the country.
On the back of a stunning nine length trial winner starting favourite at his debut in the Max Lees Classic at Newcastle, Jonker saluted by three lengths and was all the more impressive racing away with the Listed Wyong Magic Millions at start number two.
Jonker is the first foal to race for the well related Kempinsky mare Hearts And Arrows who sadly went amiss after recording easy victories at her first two starts in Victoria. Recently producing a filly by Better Than Ready, the member of the prolific Eight Carat clan has been confirmed back in foal to Spirit Of Boom.
Breeding stakes winning juveniles two years running is an outstanding accomplishment for a small stud which is home to just a handful of mares. And Cullen is confident about the prospects of several other young Wicklow Lodge horses including a Magic Albert half-sister to Jonker who makes her way to the Gold Coast March Yearling Sale.
“She is a cracking type, a big strong filly and you never know – being a half-sister to Jonker she may even top the sale!”
Also exciting is a Sizzling half-brother to Winning Rupert who has impressed from day one.
“He was an outstanding foal who has continued to thrive,” Cullen said.
Winning Rupert’s dam Winaura has another potential star at foot, a filly who Cullen says “takes your breath away!”
“She is just a machine, I have never bred one like her. We are looking forward to racing her and adding her to our broodmare band in the future.”
Same goes for Jonker’s Better Than Ready half-sister, Cullen keen to having daughters of his best broodmares. Meanwhile he is also supporting Winning Rupert, another Wicklow mare, the multiple city winner Believe ‘N Achieve, in foal to him.
And he is pleased with that mare’s Super One colt at foot, describing him as “the best foal she has had.” Which is saying something as Believe ‘N Achieve has always produced great types – her stakes placed son Brooklyn a $150,000 yearling whilst her daughter by Love Conquers all fetched $170,000.
With Wicklow Lodge a proven breeding ground for high class horses, its fertile paddocks have also been home to some outstanding gallopers during their spells – namely the Group One winners Buffering, Dissident and Politeness.
Cullen welcomes new clients to Wicklow and is happy to have a chat with broodmare and racehorse owners. He can be contacted on 0417 608 270.
Kristen Manning is a freelance racing writer and pedigree analyst based in Melbourne. A keen owner/breeder who loves every aspect of thoroughbred horse racing, she has written two books focusing on the deeds of Fields Of Omagh and Prince Of Penzance.