An unplanned break has proved hugely beneficial to the exciting Te Awamutu mare Jodelin Gal, who now has black type targets in her future.
Jodelin Gal was highly impressive winning an open 1400m handicap at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, scoring by 1 3/4 lengths from Les Crayeres and Tellall despite not getting clear until the final 250m.
The Swiss Ace mare began her current campaign in May, though a two-month break in racing between mid-September and mid-November may have helped her extend her campaign.
“She had a little setback and had to have a quiet month in October,” trainer Carl Henderson said.
“In that month she grew stronger and just developed into a horse. She’s just come on in leaps and bounds and it was probably the making of her.”
Since returning from the break Jodelin Gal won at Rotorua on November 21, was an unlucky fifth at Matamata on December 4, and then won at Tauranga on December 10 prior to her victory at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
Henderson is now looking to start Jodelin Gal in the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m) for fillies and mares on Karaka Million day at Ellerslie on January 22.
Jodelin Gal has done much of her racing on wet tracks, but Henderson said that wasn’t because she couldn’t run on top of the ground.
“She doesn’t have the best conformation so I’ve got to look after her – that’s why she’s raced on wet tracks,” he said.
“She’s a bit Charlie Chaplin-like – her toes point out a bit and she puts a bit of extra weight on the inside of her legs. It’s not so much the racing that’s a problem, it’s getting her to the races and the galloping she needs to get her fit that we have to keep an eye on.
“But she can run time. In a lot of her wins she’s run the best time of the day.
“She’s been a difficult horse to manage, to be honest. She’s been tough all the way through – even last week she went out and had a buck. You’ve got to be careful with her.
“But we know her really well and she doesn’t cause too much trouble nowadays.”
Henderson wasn’t sure how long he will keep Jodelin Gal racing through summer, saying she would probably keep going as long as she showed she had the enthusiasm.
He said she was probably best up to 1400m, as two starts at 1600m in September hadn’t been successful, though her increasing strength and maturity could give her a chance at 1600m a little later on.
Jodelin Gal is raced by Ross and Corrine Kearney of Okoroire, south of Matamata, under their Okaharau Station banner. The Kearneys scored two victories at Ellerslie, with Jodelin Gal’s half-brother Banker’s Choice winning the Stella Artois 1500 Championship Final for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh.
Henderson has enjoyed good success this year including a stakes win with Street Boss gelding Atullibigeal, who took out the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m) for two-year-olds back in May.
Atullibigeal has since been sold to clients of Hong Kong trainer David Hall and is in training up there preparing for his first raceday start.