This son of Dynasty was out of action from November until March, and somehow has just not regained the form that saw him look so impressive early on in his career.
He was gelded after running fifth behind Abashiri in the Derby and contested two races since then – a MR 100 Handicap over 2000m at Turffontein and then the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap over 1 800m at the same course. The first event turned into a tactical race when just four runners went to post and Jubilee Line was not disgraced when finishing a one-length second behind Judicial.
That run is starting to look even better when one considers Judicial ran second behind top three-year-old Marinaresco in the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville.
The Jubilee Handicap was to be Jubilee Line’s gateway to the Vodacom Durban July, but he ran poorly, and that put paid to any hopes he had of getting into the R4.25-million race. He was reported to be coughing after that race, so there was an excuse for his poor run.
As Jubilee Line is still a one-time winner he qualified to run in a Novice Plate, and although he will be running over 1 400m, a distance short of his best, on the straight course at the Vaal today, De Kock’s charge is unlikely to get a better winning opportunity and hopefully restore some confidence in the four-year-old.
Gavin Lerena is back from a triumphant performance in the Shergar Cup at Ascot where he rode two winners and was instrumental in helping the Rest Of The World team to victory, and has been given the ride on Jubilee Line.
On paper Sky High Flyer looks to have an impossible task as he is 10.5kg under sufferance with De Kock’s charge. However, he could be the fly in the ointment for Jubilee Line, as he has only raced twice for a 1.50-length fourth behind Le Tigre and then scoring a facile 2.25-length win over Sabre Dance over 1 200m on the Vaal Classic track.
He could be a lot better than his form suggests and the three-year-old son of Noordhoek Flyer will gain a lot of friends if he can with this race. Randall Simons takes the ride for the Johan Janse van Vuuren stable.
Thewaywemakem ran fifth at Vaal in Race 8 on Thursday and could show further improvement, while there appears to be little between Nephrite and Le Clos based on their sixth and seventh places behind Rabada in a Progress Plate over 1 400m at Turffontein.