Jakkalberry Ready For Japan Cup

Tue 20th Nov 2012, 14:57

Rider of Jakkalberry, Colm O'Donoghue
©Healy Racing Photos
Marco Botti is looking forward to seeing Melbourne Cup third Jakkalberry shoot for further international honours in this weekend's Japan Cup.

The six-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic campaign since joining the Newmarket-based Italian at the start of this year, running well in the Dubai Sheema Classic and winning the American St Leger before his superb run in defeat Down Under earlier this month.

He comes back to a mile and a half from two miles in the Far East, but his trainer is not too worried about the distance.

"We're very pleased with his condition. According to the lads this morning, they have got to Tokyo and he seems well and fresh and ready to go again," Botti told At The Races.

"It was obviously a good performance in the Melbourne Cup, he finished well and we were very pleased.

"It was a wonderful experience and a great atmosphere (in Australia).

"He's a tough horse and we are looking forward to the Japan Cup on Sunday.

"The opposition is very tough and the Japanese horses are top-class. It's going to be very competitive but coming back to a mile and a half I don't think is going to be a problem and the ground will be fine.

"He owes us nothing whatever he does. After this we want to give him a nice break and prepare him to campaign in Dubai."

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.

THE IRISH TIMES