23 June, 2015 |Brad Bishop – @bradbishop12
Nigel Blackiston will have another go at getting Desert Jeuney’s winter campaign underway this Saturday at Flemington.
The Toorak Handicap third placegetter from last Spring will take his place in Heat 8 of the All Victorian Sprint Series (1100m). Technically, the five-year-old resumed last Saturday at Moonee Valley, but he effectively took no part in the final race after being denied a fair start when a barrier attendant had hold of his reins as the gates opened. The gelding followed the field around but took no harm from the exercise and Blackiston said he was right to go this weekend.
“He’s come through it great,” he told Racing.com’s Racing Ahead on RSN.
“He’s nice and bright, I just gave him a slight work up on the grass this morning and I was pleased with him.”
Like last Saturday’s race, the Flemington event is a heat of the All Victorian Sprint Series and Blackiston is open to the idea of Desert Jeuney contesting the $150,000 Listed final at Flemington on 11 July should he perform well.
Dwayne Dunn had the ride on Desert Jeuney at Moonee Valley but James Winks will be aboard this weekend.
He may not be the only Blackiston-trained runner with Desert in his name to go around at Flemington, with Desert Wizard also a chance to resume from a lengthy lay-off at the meeting.
An acceptor at Sale on Wednesday, Desert Wizard has also been nominated for the 1400m Winter Championship heat and an 1610m handicap at Flemington and Blackiston said that was where he would resume if the Sale track didn’t improve from its Heavy 9 rating on Tuesday morning.
“If the track keeps improving at Sale I’ll run him there, but if it goes back or stays in that Heavy range we’ll wait and run him on Saturday,” Blackiston said.
“He’s had a long time off but he came back in great order then he got this mystery blood disorder for a few weeks, some sort of infection, so we sent him away to Werribee and had tests done and couldn’t find out a reason but it seemed to correct itself.
“He trialled really well last week and I’m looking forward to getting him back to the track.”
Desert Wizard, a winner of three of his eight starts, has not raced since failing to beat home a runner after jarring up at Flemington on Anzac Day last year.