Tim Donnelly has been left making plans for a consolation Sydney win with Jo Jo Girl after the in-form mare couldn’t force her way into the Wagga Wagga Gold Cup field.
One of the most consistent and genuine bush horses in training, Jo Jo Girl was made a first reserve for Friday’s $140,000 Listed race.
Donnelly will still have Devised, narrowly beaten in the past two Cups, in this year’s edition but he is disappointed he won’t have two runners in his bid for a hometown win.
“I am very keen to run Jo Jo Girl at Wagga,” Donnelly said.
“I don’t think she would have been out of her place.”
Instead, Jo Jo Girl has accepted to take on five rivals in the Go The Wanderers Handicap (1900m), a race restricted to fillies and mares, at Canterbury on Wednesday.
She goes into the city midweek race with five placings in six country starts after a spell, including runner-up finishes in the Gundagai Cup and the MTC Cup at Wagga Wagga at her past two outings.
Donnelly said Jo Jo Girl, a Tim Clark mount at Canterbury, had relished a heavy racing schedule since joining his Wagga Wagga stable almost 12 months ago.
“She had 10 runs in her first prep for me and had there been another race a fortnight later she would have run in it,” he said.
“I normally wouldn’t run a horse that much but she just thrives on it.”
Devised has come agonisingly close in the the past two Gold Cups and Donnelly says there is no reason to think it can’t be third-time lucky for the stayer.
“He raced a little bit dour on a track that favoured leaders the other day and we’ve aimed to have him at his top for Friday,” the trainer said.
Devised was beaten a nose in Coliseo’s 2012 win and he went under by the same margin to Scream Machine last year.