Michael Nolan’s Jumbo chance in Toowoomba Guineas
MICHAEL Nolan has won a Toowoomba Cup, two Weetwoods and is now hoping to win the first running of the new Toowoomba Guineas on Saturday with Derby bound Jumbo Prince.
Cushion track specialist Miss Imagica won the Weetwood two years in a row, while ‘Tis Love won the Cup for Nolan in 2001.
Jumbo Prince will be joined by Upstart Pride (Weetwood or Benchmark 85) and Girls Command (F & M Benchmark 85) in representing the Nolan stable this weekend as he takes the next step towards the Queensland Derby.
“It’s always been the plan to run Jumbo in this race. It looks like a nice target, especially under the set weight conditions,” Nolan said.
“He will then back up into the Rough Habit Plate and then hopefully progress from there.”
Jumbo Prince was an impressive first-up winner and then made good ground when second against older horses at Doomben last Wednesday.
Luke Tarrant, who has won twice on the horse, replaces Travis Wolfgram this weekend. “I thought he was terrific in that race last week,” Nolan said.
“It was just too short for him and he needs the mile now, which he will get on Saturday,”
“He’s back on his home turf too, which is always a help.”
Nolan said the Weetwood meeting being introduced to the carnival had created huge interest in Toowoomba and he’s tipping “standing room only” if the weather gods serve up a fine day.
“It doesn’t matter when you run the Weetwood, it’s just an event people turn up to and having it as part of the carnival has given it an extra boost this year,” he said.
“We’ve been lucky enough to win two of them, but it took us ages to do it. Every year I would aim at it just wanting to have a runner and we were blessed to get one good enough to win it twice.”
Nolan is hopeful of gaining a Weetwood start for Upstart Pride, but if his rating means he doesn’t make the final field, he will drop back to the BM85 (1200m), which also pits him against older