By Tony Megahey
Aptly-named Jetgirl brings Bathurst’s Dean Mirfin, a CDRA Country Championships finalist last season, to Rosehill Gardens in high anticipation after her spectacular exhibitions of low level flying at home recently.
The just turned four years, Nicconi mare is on the runway for a TAB $60,000 Class 2, 1100m flyer on Saturday after winning in near track record time last start, and by a total of near nine lengths in successive Bathurst wins.
The key booking of Blake Shinn riding at 56kg and from an ideal barrier one has Jetgirl in strong demand for Mirfin who is enjoying an outstanding season with 16 wins amidst the emergence of a potential star.
Lightly-raced Jetgirl has revealed an impressive balance of early speed and closing stamina.
Meanwhile, Dean is remembered for his “rain dance” with jockey Eleanor Webster-Hawes after they won the Central District’s leg of the Country Championships in a deluge at Mudgee in March with third emergency Cosmologist, a $51 bolter.
Jetgirl will be at the top end of the market on Saturday: “I’ve always had a big opinion of her - we’ve had to be really patient as she’s been a slow learner, but it’s exciting the way she is putting it together now,” Mirfin enthused.
“She does it both ends - sections early and closes off strong. When she ran that time last start it was a second faster than the next best on the day and she drew the extreme outside.
“She was unextended but doesn’t have to lead either; she can be just as effective with a sit. But I’ll leave all of that up to Blake from the good draw.”
After two moderate placings as a three-year-old filly, first preparation, Mirfin spelled Jetgirl to let her mature. She made an inauspicious return at Wellington in early June when she dumped her jockey when odds-on. But her improvement since has been phenomenal.
After Webster-Hawes rode her early and Anthony Cavallo for her Bathurst maiden win last month, Mirfin elected to claim with Chinese National apprentice Qin Yong for the spectacular runaway in a BM 55 at home.
Leading unextended from barrier 11, Jetgirl clocked 1.03.62, comparing favourably with the track record held at 1.03.21 by Bjorn Baker’s five-race winner and Canterbury Park placegetter Vega.
Mirfin has maintained a productive strike rate on regional tracks in recent seasons after coming to prominence with an early association with Nick Moraitis of Might and Power Fame. They combined to race horses in the famous 1997 Melbourne Cup-winning silks of white, grey and pink.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Jetgirl will be prominent in betting markets with prolific series winner Matthew Dunn who has accepted with Doomben winner Arrestar and Lifesaver, also a Doomben placegetter.
Paul Messara’s promising Table Mountain is resuming with the Hugh Bowman influence and following smart trials will also have admirers. At present Rosehill Gardens is rated a good four track with fine weather predicted.