Three-year-old Jakkalberry filly Jakkalbomb asserted herself as a Classic contender this season after her impressive runner-up performance behind Secret Allure in the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on January 19.
The Janelle Millar-trained runner is being set for a tilt at the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) in March and will take her next step on that path when she competes in the Listed Fasttrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth on Saturday.
“I was very happy with her (run at Trentham),” Millar said. “Apart from her just about falling at the start and running greenly at the end, but she didn’t get a great trip. She’s improving every time and she’s come on really well since then.
“She is just one of those horses that every time I throw something at her she takes it in and she improves on it.”
Millar said her filly has thrived since her run at Trentham and believes Jakkalbomb should put in a good showing on her home track on Saturday, despite drawing the outside barrier in the 14 horse field.
“She has progressed really well, the trip didn’t bother her,” she said. “Being that young and her first trip away, she did really well.
“She has come home and she has done even better, so I can’t really complain about anything really, her work has been great. She probably looks better than what she did going into that race.
“I am really disappointed about the draw, but in saying that our aim is getting her to the Oaks, so more experience being out will help her chances.”
Millar has a big rap on her filly and believes the way she is progressing Jakkalbomb will be very competitive in the New Zealand Oaks come March.
“She has got an amazing turn of foot. Once she puts it all together, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later, she will be one of the best fillies I think,” Millar said.
“She always finishes really strongly to the line. We don’t know if she is going to stay the 2400m, but how many three-year-old fillies do?
“But you can put her to sleep, put her anywhere in the race and she has got an amazing turn of foot. It is in her blood, so she should stay.”
Millar believes her filly is the horse to beat in the race, but is cautious about the shorter straight at New Plymouth as well as her charge’s outside barrier.
“It’s probably not the best track for her, just being a shorter straight,” she said.
“She does need to balance up before she really lets down. But in saying that, I do think she is the class act in the field and that’s if she can overcome the big draw.”
Jakkalbomb will have one more lead-in race into the Oaks after Saturday, which is likely to be the Gr.2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on February 27.
“Her next trip will be to Hastings for the Lowland and she will head straight from there to the Oaks.” – NZ Racing Desk