Horses To Follow » Jukebox Jury

Jukebox Jury

Jukebox Jury put up a fine performance to land the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville run over an extended mile and a half at Deauville on Sunday. With nothing wanting to make the early running, Royston Ffrench was happy enough to allow Jukebox Jury stride on. However, it was a position with which Mark Johnston’s colt was not altogether happy. Undoubtedly not helped by the bell that rang as the stalls opened and continued to ring until they had raced right up past the stands for the first time, Jukebox Jury had his ears pricked and was hanging to his left as they took the right-handed turn away from the stands. He continued to look around him all the way around to the back straight, and actually shaped as if he thought he had to run up the all-weather track as they crossed that before they straightened up in the back straight. Once there, he settled better into a rhythm in front, although still with his ears well forward and at a slow pace, until the stayer Kasbah Bliss moved up on his outside and took it up. Ffrench kept Jukebox Jury on Kasbah Bliss’s withers, on the inside, as they exited the back straight and turned around the sweeping home turn. Once they had straightened up, the sprint for home developed. Jukebox Jury was the first one of the six runners to come under pressure, but he was well positioned in the front rank, and he began to pick up well. He soon had Kasbah Bliss cooked, and he went a length and a half up before Pouvoir Absolu began eating into his lead well inside the final furlong, but the bob of the head just went Jukebox Jury’s way in the photo.

You could argue that the runner up was unlucky. He was hampered against the rail in the very early stages of the race, and he was a neck in front 20 yards after the line but, on balance, Jukebox Jury was the one to take out of the race for me. He wasn’t suited by making the running, and he wasn’t suited by the slow early pace, yet he still managed to win. The son of Montjeu is not endowed with blistering pace, but he is well able to gallop and he has a really willing attitude. On his penultimate run before Sunday, he was one of the first horses off the bridle, but he stayed on really well to get the better of Campanologist in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock. On his only subsequent run before Sunday, he was ostensibly disappointing when he could finish only fourth behind Monitor Closely in the Great Voltigeur, but he wasn’t suited at all by the slow early pace that Monitor Closely set. Over a mile and a half, when he can be held up off a fast pace, he is very useful.

30th August 2009