Jacob Perrett has already made the trip to Sydney today as he prepares to race Jousting in the 1400m Class Three TAB Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Tamworth galloper will be first-up in the seven-furlong event, with the Helmet gelding not seen at the races since winning the 1900m Spring Cup at Armidale back in October.
“He was meant to race in a Highway last prep. He’s final stepping-stone last time out was meant to be the 1800m Highway, but he ended up with a quarter crack,” Perrett said.
Perrett wants to win a Highway with the six-year-old before he sets his sights on any other races.
“We didn’t want to risk him winning one and losing his chance of winning a Highway,” Perrett said.
“He has come back a lot stronger horse after his spell, and mentally too he is a lot better, and his trial at Tamworth was good.
“He run along with Ice In Vancouver, who has the record for the 1000m at Tamworth, and there was a few horses in that trial that will go around in the Tamworth Cup.”
Jousting looks every part a stayer in the making, having won over 1900m twice last preparation, but Perrett believes his galloper can run a good race in Saturday’s 1400m Highway.
“The 1400m isn’t ideal, but he will give them a bit of cheek for a long way,” Perrett said.
“First up over 1300m for me last prep, he led them pretty easily at Scone, and young Jackson (Searle) lost the whip at the 200m, and he is not the kind of horse that you need to give an excuse to, so that didn’t really help.
“He should go okay, and back at Scone in three weeks, there is a 1500m Highway, and that is another option, but he is going good, and we will find some good races for him.”
Incredibly, Perrett picked up the former Victorian as a maiden after 28 starts before taking him to the races for six starts, landing three wins, a second and a third.
“We have only had him for the six runs, which were all last prep,” Perrett said.
“He was a 28-start maiden and hadn’t done a lot, but he is turning into a nice horse.”
Perrett doesn’t venture to town all that often, but he arrived a day earlier, giving Jousting the day to settle in before contesting the $100,000 event.
“I have only had the one TAB Highway runner and that was three years ago, and he did a tendon in that race,” Perrett said.
“We came down this morning and we are staying here with Richard Litt and I will head home tomorrow after the race.
“He travelled down well. You don’t even know he is in the float, and nothing worries him.”
Jousting has drawn gate nine in the event and Will Pike will take the ride and for full Royal Randwick fields, readers can click here.