Mighty-midget Jumbo Prince is on trial for a Queensland Derby campaign when he tackles older metropolitan-class horses for the first time at the Sunshine Coast.
Jumbo Prince’s rivals in Saturday’s Coastaline BMW 3 Series Handicap (2200m) include several hardened stayers such as Flying Home, Secret Garden and Try Four.
Trainer Michael Nolan had intended to send Jumbo Prince for a spell after he won a three-year-old race over 1800m at the Gold Coast two weeks ago.
“There wasn’t much around for him as he isn’t a Magic Millions horse. But we had a rethink when we saw Saturday’s race at the Sunshine Coast over 2200 metres,” Nolan said.
“It is a perfect chance for us to see how he handles the distance. If he can’t run it now it is highly unlikely he will run it in the winter in a race like the Queensland Derby.
“If he can’t get 2200 metres it gives us time to plot a different path.”
Jumbo Prince is proving a major bargain as he cost only $8000 and has won six races for $257,000 in prize money.
“I saw a lot of very expensive horses sold at the weekend and they won’t win anything like Jumbo Prince,” Nolan said.
“The only problem with him is he is small and I do mean small. He is nicely put together but his size will tell against him eventually.”
In-form apprentice Luke Tarrant will ride Jumbo Prince and the gelding gets in with only 53.5kg.
Tarrant, who leads the metropolitan jockeys’ premiership by a healthy 12 winners, has ridden Jumbo Prince twice for two wins.
“Luke knows him well, the light weight gives him a real hope and the big track should help also,” Nolan said.