Image: Bruno Canatelli
Jigsaw has ticked another box for trainer Cindy Alderson with her comfortable win in the Australia Stakes at Mooney Valley.
Jigsaw’s fourth consecutive win in a Group 2 weight-for-age race over 1200 meters on Saturday left the four-year-old unbeaten in his current preparation.
Sent off the $3.10 favorite under Daniel Moore, Aarath cruised to a 2-½ length win from Turath ($4.60) with Calypso Reign ($7) a further 1-1/2 lengths back in third.
After a first win at Cranbourne in November, Jigsaw followed with Listed race wins over 1000 meters at Caulfield on Boxing Day and then over 1100 meters at Sandown.
But going to the Australia Stakes was a different proposition for Jigsaw and Alderson with geldings that were weight-for-age to deal with.
“I’m incredibly proud of the horse,” Alderson said.
“The horse has put together a four-in-a-row now which is a phenomenal effort and he is running such a good race.
“He relaxes and was strong to the line today and he wasn’t lying.”
Alderson said that Jigsaw had always shown potential and was a double winner in the 1200 meters before his latest success, although as a three-year-old he went astray.
The trainer said that Ara had not changed much in the house, but now she has a lot of confidence.
“He believes he’s a good horse, and he’s racing like a good horse,” Alderson said.
Alderson said a debut would be considered in the Group 1 Oakley Plate (1100m) at Sandown on 25 February followed by the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Mooney Valley in March.
Alderson said, “Oakley plate, it’s worth considering.”
“He was very strong today but some good races are coming.
“There is William Reid over 1200m who has now proven himself in the Valley, and that is something that will also be considered.”
Moore said he was not concerned with handling the 1200 m solid sawhorse and that the gelding at Sandown was stronger than the 1100 m.
He added that working his outside snapper into one of his hazards was also key to helping him get the prize.
“I know it’s a little cheeky, but I wanted to make JE (McNeil) work and not take the box seat and it worked to our advantage today,” Moore said.
“Jay is a great jockey and these short fields get technical. It’s not something I enjoy doing, but getting a chance to poke out there and do a counterintuitive thing, I had to do it.
“He has aged on this horse. He is very mature and when you ask him to let go of the reins, he does it beautifully.
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