By Glenn Davis
A sparkling track gallop on Tuesday has boosted trainer Paul Jenkins confidence of claiming the Listed Queensland Cup at Eagle Farm with Travistee.
Travistee showed great fighting spirit at her last start when she bravely held on for third to Kiwi stayer Igraine in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast last month.
Travistee will be reunited with jockey Tiffani Brooker after the former star apprentice was unable to make the five-year-old’s weight in the Caloundra Cup.
Brooker made her riding comeback from a serious back injury when she rode Travistee in the Gatton Cup last month.
Brooker has won five Stakes during her career and was Queensland’s champion apprentice two seasons ago.
She had a year off from riding after suffering serious side effects after she sprained her lower spine in a fall in February last year.
In her first ride back after the lengthy break, Brooker won the Gatton Cup on Travistee last month and notched up her eighth win since returning to the saddle when successful aboard the Stu Kendrick-trained Misery at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.
Jenkins believed Travistee faced an uphill task of winning the Queensland Cup when weights were released but he’s changed his opinion following Tuesday’s trackwork.
“It was a great run to finish third in the Caloundra Cup but there were no excuses and she was beaten by better horses on the day,” Jenkins said.
“It was hard to be confident with her in the Queensland Cup with the topweight compressing the weights as it gives some of the others a big advantage.
“However, her work on Tuesday morning was outstanding so I’ve gained a lot of confidence from that.”
Jenkins has no fear about Travistee running the feature’s 3200 metres.
“Two miles won’t worry her. She’ll run it on her ear,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins previously trained in New Zealand before moving to Caloundra seven years ago.
He won the Group 1 Auckland Cup with Bazelle and the Zabeel Classic in 2005 but is best known to Queenslanders as the trainer of King Keitel who won the Doomben Cup in 2001.
Jenkins admits he’s been in the wilderness and has struggled for clientele since moving to Queensland but remains hopeful a Queensland Cup win will boost his career.
Jenkins plans to spell Travistee after the Queensland Cup and is considering a trip back to New Zealand for the spring.
“I’ll see how she goes first but I’m thinking about taking her to New Zealand for the spring,” he said.
“They have a lot of Cup races with Black-Type that would suit her and if she could win a Black-Type race over there it would be great for her as a broodmare,” he said.
Racing Queensland webnews July 19