If you had told Mike de Kock 18 months back that Jubilee Line would only be a two-time winner in May 2017 he would have said you were living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.
Unfortunately this son of Dynasty has just not delivered what he had promised early in his career and right now De Kock will be happy if the four-year-old gelding can win a MR 86 Handicap over 2000m at the Vaal tomorrow.
After he finished a 6.25-length fifth behind Abashiri in last year’s Grade 1 SA Derby the decision was taken to geld Jubilee Line and when he made his return to the course he was well supported to win his comeback run with 53.5kg on his back. Only four horses ran in that event but the De Kock runner was well supported and went off at 7-10. However, despite conceding 8kg to the favourite, Judicial got up close home to score a snug one-length victory.
Jubilee Line was then supported to win the Grade 3 Jubilee Handicap over 1800m at Turffontein but faded from the 400m mark to finish 6.10 lengths behind Liege. After another rest he managed to notch up his second career victory when beating Nephrite by 1.25 lengths in a Novice Plate over 1400m at the Vaal.
He has gone on to run three more times without much success but his last start when a 3.50-length fifth behind Amazing Strike at Turffontein last month was promising and with the stable in top form Jubilee Line could be ready for win No 3.
The one concern is whether his merit rating is still not too high. He raced off a 92 rating in the Derby and is now down to 86. Much of that is just a weight-for-age adjustment as he has got older but if one considers Nephrite races off a rating of 70 and, giving him just 1.5kg, Jubilee Line could only beat him by 1.25 lengths in a Plate race it does appear the handicappers have perhaps been a little mingy when it comes to reducing his rating but that will be better assessed after tomorrow’s race.
The main threat looks to come from Save The Rhino who has come to hand since trainer Ormond Ferraris put his charge over ground. His problem is that 2000m could now be too short for him.
Other with chances include Hamaan, Amsterdam and Glider Pilot, who has won his only start and could be anything.
NO 9 Spring Poetry
NO 10 Gentleman Only