Flemington trainer Nigel Blackiston has been patience personified with Victorian bred Desert Jeuney and the rejuvenated galloper paid him back with interest on Thursday.
Desert Jeuney won the $120,000 Moe Cup (2000m) which was renamed the Browns Sawdust & Shavings Cup after being transferred to Pakenham. It broke a long run of outs going back two years.
The son of Lauriston Park sire Desert King (Ire) showed talent from his first gallop and won a Pakenham maiden as a summer three year-old before progressing to complete a hat-trick at Morphettville, Sandown and Flemington later that season.
Nick-named ‘DJ’, he travelled to Sydney as an autumn four year-old and earned minor black-type in the G3 Sky High Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill prior signing off with a midfield finish in the G1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
“He came back for last year’s spring carnival and gave us a great thrill with placings in the G1 Toorak and G2 Crystal Mile,” Blackiston recalled.
“But then he finished last in the G1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington and we discovered he required surgery to remove bone chips.”
The challenges didn’t stop there for Blackiston. “He returned to racing in August but was fractious in the barriers first-up at Flemington and missed the start hopelessly.
After some re-education, we added pacifiers but then he refused to compete at Caulfield – perhaps he was ‘pacified’ too much according to Glyn Schofield.
“Then we went back to basics with beach work and some subtle changes in his routine. It started to pay dividends when he was fourth in the Gold Nugget at Ballarat and the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley.
“The return of Michael Walker was also significant. He had won twice on DJ previously and knew the horse well. He warned the owners before the Cup at Pakenham that he wouldn’t allow the horse to see daylight at the last possible moment. And Michael ride to that plan perfectly!
“Now we can plan for more success over the Flemington carnival.”
Desert Jeuney (6g Desert King – Preps by Jeune) cost $16,000 at the 2011 Melbourne Autumn yearling sale and has earned $321,035.
His breeder John Schembri has sent Preps back to Desert King this year.
Desert King (Danzig) is known the world over thanks to Melbourne Cup legend Makybe Diva and other Group 1 winner. His long list of country cup winning progeny continues to grow with last-start Murtoa Cup winner Rainbow Storm attempting to double up in the Hamilton Cup next weekend.
LP Stallions manager Julie Nairn stands Desert King in association with Lauriston Park studmaster Chris Bakker for a $6,600 (inc gst) fee. For further details, contact Nairn on 0402 901 910 or Bakker on 0427 903 353.