By Glenn Davis
A skinny horse which Caloundra trainer Paul Jenkins once threw a towel over to hide from the public will be out to put the Group One winning trainer and former star apprentice Tiffany Brooker back in the limelight at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Jenkins-trained Travistee is set to tackle the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup, a week after finishing third to rival It Ain’t All Honey in the Provincial Stayer’s Cup at Ipswich last Saturday.
Jenkins is a household name in his homeland where 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.
He moved to Caloundra from New Zealand seven years ago and hopes Travistee can earn Black-Type with at least a placing in the 3000-metre feature.
“The trip will really suit her and she’s just starting to come of age this preparation after a few things went wrong with her last campaign,” Jenkins said.
“It’s a big jump up in class but I think she’s up to it as she’ll run all day.
“She’s bounced through her Ipswich run very well. She’s a skinny little thing and would be lucky to make 420kgs.
“Up to this preparation I used to take her out the back at some tracks and throw a towel over her so you couldn’t see her.”
Jenkins only has a small team of six in work at the Sunshine Coast and used to supplement his livelihood helping a friend with a local cleaning business.
“I’ve been in the wilderness a bit since I came over here and I’ve struggled to get the numbers and clientele,” Jenkins said.
“That’s one of the reasons I used to help a friend with his cleaning business but I no longer do that.
“If Travistee could win it would be great for both Tiffany (Brooker) and myself and even a placing would be good for the mare’s broodmare value.
“Myself and a few owners own Travistee and her mother and a placing in a Group 3 race would increase both their broodmare values.”
Travistee has started 19 times for six wins and eight placings including a last start third to Tatt’s Cup rival It Ain’t All Honey in the Provincial Stayer’s Cup at Ipswich last Saturday.
Jenkins is unconcerned about the seven-day back-up and hasn’t ruled out running three weeks in a row in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast next Saturday.
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 at the start of this month and was back in the winner’s list on the Stu Kendrick-trained He’s The Deel at Doomben on Wednesday.
Racing Queensland webnews June 20