The Class 3 Daffodil Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night sees jockey Zac Purton reunited with Cheerfuljet.
Purton rode the Caspar Fownes-trained galloper to two big-margin victories in Class 4 over the Happy Valley 1200m, the latest a three and a half length triumph on 20 December.
As a result, Cheerfuljet was sent off favourite at his first Class 3 attempt on 17 January. However, the four-year-old struck trouble in the straight and crossed the line under a hold.
Purton believes that the New Zealand bred Cheerfuljet has the ability to be competitive if he can reproduce his most recent victory.
“Early on, he had some issues,” Purton said. “He had a lot of speed but he just couldn’t sustain it, he was quite weak and he would fall away. But now he is a lot cleaner and a bit stronger, of course he has shown the same speed but when you ask him, he’s got that turn of foot and he’s giving you something.
“He’s definitely improved in the last 12 months, no doubt. His last win was a pretty nice effort and a repeat of that performance sees him competitive in Class 3.”
Cheerfuljet, a son of Darci Brahma, was sold out of Blandford Lodge's 2015 NZB Select draft for $30,000. -HKJC