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Jenkins hopes to target winter Stakes race with Love Squirrels

By Glenn Davis

Group 1 winning trainer Paul Jenkins is hopeful promising filly Love Squirrels can extend her winning sequence and book a Brisbane winter carnival campaign at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Love Squirrels has been beaten only once in her four-start career and will be chasing a hat-trick of wins in the QTIS Three-Year-Old Handicap (1000m).

The daughter of Eurozone has not started since winning for Jeff Lloyd in a 1000-metre Class Three at the Sunshine Coast on January 13 but will be ridden by Mark Du Plessis in her comeback.

Jenkins moved to Caloundra from New Zealand seven years ago and hopes Love Squirrels can measure up to a Stakes race during the winter.

Jenkins is best known to Queenslanders as the trainer of King Keitel who won the Doomben Cup in 2001.

He is a household name in his homeland where he won the Group 1 Auckland Cup with Bazelle and the Zabeel Classic in 2005.

Jenkins only trains half a dozen horses and supplements his livelihood running a local cleaning business.

“When I first came over I had only 22 runners in the first year and trained 11 winners,” Jenkins said.

“I had hoped to have a team of around 15 when I first started off but for some reason it didn’t happen.

“I’m fortunate to have started a local cleaning business which helps.”

Jenkins expects Love Squirrels will be competitive despite the heavy track rating.

“She’ll be competitive even if the track is heavy,” he said.

“I’m not sure if she’ll like a heavy track but she’ll handle it.”

Love Squirrels is raced by Jenkin’s close friends Grant Barnett and Peter Archer.

“She started with Joe Pride in Sydney but they thought she wasn’t quite up to the grade down there so her owners sent her to me,” Jenkins said.

“She’s topweight but she deserves to be the way she’s going.

“If she measures up as I expect her to, I’d like to set her for a Stakes race up to 1600 metres during the winter carnival.

“Jeff Lloyd has won two races on her and he’s a big fan but he’s unavailable to ride her this time so Mark Du Plessis has the ride.”

Racing Queensland webnews   March 31