Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan did not know what to expect when he took over the training of former Sydneysider Jonker.
Jonker had won only two of his 20 starts for David Atkins, his first two outings, before the now six-year-old joined Gollan last year.
In five starts for his new trainer, Jonker has two wins and three placings, and now he is in Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival.
Jonkers kick starts his spring in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
“We got him last summer and I didn’t know what to expect,” Gollan said.
“He hadn’t won for quite a while, but he hit the ground running at his first start for me and took me by surprise.
“He’s developed really well since then and he’s responded to the way we train him and I’m very comfortable in the way he’s going.
“I don’t know about him up the straight and until they go down it, you never really know, but my gut feeling is he’ll handle it.”
Gollan had toyed with the idea of waiting until the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 24.
“It’s always been the plan to get him up to running in Group 1’s,” Gollan said.
“This isn’t a Group 1 but the more I looked at the Moir field and the way it was coming together, they might have him out of his comfort zone a little bit.
“Down the straight, he’ll be able to travel that little bit better and the 1200 (metres) on good ground at Flemington will really suit him.”