Jagoe Roads new career path
HANDY Coffs Harbour racehorse Jagoe Road is saddling up for a new career.
The winner of eight races on local tracks has been sent back to Victoria to be trained over hurdles and has already shown enormous talent for the jumping caper.
Jagoe Road had his last Northern Rivers Racing Association start at Grafton on August 31 last year but as a stayer with ability and few suitable races longer than 2000 metres on the local circuit, the decision was made to give him fresh opportunities.
Still owned by former trainer Jim Jarvis and wife Kristine, the eight-year-old gelding has been transferred to long-time colleague Quinton Scott at Cranbourne and has had two starts for one win on the comeback trail.
After a first-up 10th at Terang in November, the horse was freshened up and pleased connections with a sprint course win at Penshurst on Boxing Day.
“Quinton and I go back a long way and we thought he’d be just the man to look after the horse,” Jarvis said.
“It was a bit of a surprise to see him win the other day, especially over the short course.
“I’ve thought for a long time he’d be ideal as a jumper and when we sent him to the jumps school he took to it right away.”
Scott has the horse at his satellite stables in Koroit near the famous Warrnambool jumping track and said he will continue the specialist training while giving the horse regular conditioning runs on the flat.
“We’ve already done a fair bit of schooling with him and he seems to jump well,” he advised.
“He’s not a big horse but he’s compact.
“I think the biggest plus with him is he handles wet ground, which I hope we get over the winter months.”
However, should he become successful, Jagoe Road will not be the first horse to go from this area and become a top-line jumper.
Praise Indeed was a prolific winner in the NRRA during the 1990s with his major wins including the 1996 Grafton Cup and 1998 Brisbane Cup.
Sent to Melbourne, he became a top flight hurdler and was placed in a Grand National.
Schooling horses over jumps to sharpen them up for flat racing was once an accepted part of training.
“When I first started coming up to Coffs from Victoria there were still a couple of jumps in the scrub behind the racecourse that the old-timers used,” Jarvis revealed.
“But you wouldn’t go in there now for the snakes and things that bite.”
Meanwhile, this Saturday’s Bowraville non-TAB meeting has been abandoned prior to acceptances due to the heavy rain and unsafe state of the track.
However, Clarence River Jockey Club has scheduled a new TAB date for Grafton on Tuesday and within hours of being announced the meeting has drawn 218 nominations.