Stephen Jones to unleash ‘impressive’ trial winner at Tamworth

Tucson Valley will make her race day debut at Tamworth on Sunday. Photo: Winning Edge Media.

All eyes will be on the Stephen Jones trained Tucson Valley when she makes her debut in the 1000m Maiden Plate at Tamworth on Sunday. 

The four-year-old was an impressive trial winner over the 900m at Scone late last month, winning by 3.47 lengths when running 56.25 for the journey and 35.78 for the final 600m. 

“We sort of didn’t punch her out, we just gave her a nice even trial and she went really well,” Jones said. 

“She looks like she might be impressive.”

The Scone galloper has drawn gate seven and Matthew Palmer takes the ride and Jones believed she would prove ‘hard to beat’. 

“I think she will go good; she will be hard to beat on that trial,” Jones said. 

“They are all maidens, she can’t do much more than what she did in her trial; she should go well.”

Raced by high-profile owner and breeder Gerry Harvey, Tucson Valley is by Westbury Stud’s star sprinter Swiss Ace and out of Sabino Canyon, a three-time winner for Harvey from 1420m to 2000m.

“I think she will get over ground, but fresh, she looks like she will sprint,” Jones said. 

Connections expected their mild-mannered mare to go forward in this race but would leave the final decision to Palmer.

“She is a nice mare, no trouble at all, she is very easy to train, and she does everything right,” Jones said. 

“We will just ping her out of the gate and see where she lands, and he (Palmer) can ride her where she lands.

“If something wants to lead, we will sit off it, or if she jumps to the lead, we will go that way and try and give her an easy run.”

Jones has combined with his loyal owner for many winners over the years, and he hinted there was still excitement when a smart galloper such as Tucson Valley came along.

“I was his first trainer, and I have trained for him for 35 or 40 years now,” Jones said. 

“There is always excitement, it never stops, otherwise we would stop. Once the buzz goes, that means you’re done but we’re not done yet.”