By Tony Megahey
Scone’s accomplished veteran Stephen Jones, who has been desperately unlucky in town with his stable star Akasaki, offers value with prominent stable discards at Sunday’s Muswellbrook TAB meeting.
Jones has taken over former Kris Lees sprinter Revere for immediate success, and is confident of doing similar with the former Shelton stable’s Famed, while Gerry Harvey’s debut runner Mr Wong is promising.
All will be lucrative odds at a booming seven-race Muswellbrook TAB meeting with capacity fields and the feature Bengalla Cup.
“They’re well placed in suitable races - Revere won really well first-up for us and has gone ahead, Mr Wong has trialled nicely and is a progressive youngster while Famed is still a bit light and is wait and see,” offered Jones, who remains frustrated at continued disaster barrier draws for eight-race winner Akasaki.
“Just cruel, he’s been living with outside draws in town then he drew 16 in the Ramornie - could have easily won two of those races. We’re back in town shortly; it’s his turn to draw a gate. This horse never runs an ordinary race, a great competitor.”
Meanwhile, Jones takes on the profile stables who have converged on Muswellbrook. Among them Kris Lees, Paul Perry, Waterhouse and Bott, Bjorn Baker and in-form Clare Cunningham.
Jones is confident that Mr Wong, a Harvey-bred Mossman three-year-old colt, will be “very competitive” following trials at this track and Scone. He’ll be ridden by Aaron Bullock in a Muswellbrook Coal Company Maiden (1000m).
Recent Tamworth maiden winner Revere contests a Wear Parts Services Class I (1280m): “I’ve only had him for the one run, he closed off strongly to win a maiden and he’s gone ahead - ready for the rise in grade."
An interesting dual acceptor is Clare Cunningham’s talented filly On The Take, in the same race and also in at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Competitive at Group Three level last prep and then a powerful and unlucky recent Warwick Farm placegetter, On the Take will be a pronounced favourite if Muswellbrook is the preference for a winning stable.
Clare produced Sir Barb to win at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, brilliantly ridden by her partner Jason Collett. Rising stayer Just Shine also won at Royal Randwick and was runner-up at Rosehill Gardens for Clare, the former Sydney stable foreperson for Peter Moody, who is in just her second training season.
Muswellbrook is rated a good four at present with fine weather predicted.