By Tony Megahey
The highly-anticipated guest appearance in Dubbo of top-class jockey Corey Brown - riding a newcomer for the Joseph and Jones racing family - boosts their confidence for a booming nine-race TAB meeting on Monday.
Brown, who won the Melbourne Cup twice on Rekindling last year and Shocking in 2009, rides promising maiden Four Beers Please for Barbara Joseph, eldest son Paul Jones and younger brother Matthew, a new training partner. Brown, born and bred near Taree, relishes a country carnival.
Performed open company gallopers Bank on Henry and Darts Away represent the stable in the $20,000 Dubbo City Toyota Cup Prelude (1400m).
Regular southern region premiership jockey Brendan Ward rides Bank on Henry and Anthony Cavallo is on Darts Away.
Matt Jones, whose son Zane is stable strapper, puts the family representatives in perspective on a strong card with capacity fields.
“If Bank on Henry gets a genuine pace to suit and is within three lengths of them on straightening, they won’t beat him,” Matt enthused.
“He’s got an amazing finish and he’s airborne at the moment.
“Look, he is a backmarker, that’s just him, and he’s better at 1800m and maybe beyond. But we’ve kept him fresh for 1400m; he did win first-up at 1280m.
"With minimal luck he would have won his past two starts. They’ve been enormous from way back. If we get a truly run race and enough pressure up front, he can get run right over the top of them. He’s just so tough and honest.” Bank on Henry is consistency personified with six wins and 11 placings.
Darts Away has also been a similar money spinner for connections with six wins and seven placings. The six-year-old gelding is fitter for two runs from a spell at Canberra and in harder grade at Kembla.
“He’s progressed nicely this prep, both runs from a spell have been really solid. All his wins have been in the 1200m and 1300m range, so he’s ready to run a race for us again.”
Matt said Four Beers Please has far more ability than her two unplaced runs suggest. The three-year-old filly contests the Kennard’s Mine Lightning Maiden (1420m) with Brown’s influence.
“She injured her hip last preparation, had a long time off and that was cruel luck for connections because she was showing genuine ability on the track.
“This time in she’s showing us similar. If she brings her trackwork to the races, she’ll be competitive, Corey is the bonus. But it still could be a confidence issue after a fairly serious setback. So we're hopeful.”
Dubbo is rated a Good 4 with fine weather predicted.