Just A Blur has come out of the winter looking better than ever ahead of her first-up challenge in the Group Three Nivison at Randwick.
Just A Blur finished fourth in two Group Three races at Doomben during the winter carnival before luck deserted her in the Group Two Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm where she beat one runner home.
Paul Jones, who trains alongside his mother Barbara Joseph, said the six-year-old mare had made an impressive return to work at their Canberra stables ahead of Saturday’s race over 1200 metres.
“It’s the best she’s ever come out of winter,” Jones said.
“She’s normally is a bit fluffy and very heavy in the coat but she looks pretty good.”
Just A Blur has had two unofficial jump-outs to prepare her for the Nivison.
“She’s one of our fastest horses. I’ve got nothing that can work with her,” Jones said.
“She can really rattle off a sectional especially if there’s good speed in the race.”
Under set weights and penalties conditions, Just A Blur will be on the minimum weight despite only five of the 17 entries having a higher benchmark rating.
Jones is hoping Just A Blur can be midfield or worse and get some give in the ground to aid her cause in the closing stages.
He said a firm Randwick track on Saturday brought Just A Blur’s stablemate Wonderbolt undone in the Sensis Dash (1200m).
“They ran home in 1:08 and 33.9,” Jones said.
“You’ve got to run Black Caviar times to run them down.”
Just A Blur proved her versatility last preparation, winning the Goulburn Cup over 1600m and the Wagga Town Plate over 1200m.
Jones believes she is best between 1200m and 1400m.
“If she runs well in this she’ll probably head to a Listed or fillies and mares’ race on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington over 1400 metres,” Jones said.
Former champion apprentice Winona Costin will ride Just A Blur in the Nivison.
“With Winona just becoming a senior rider she needs that little kick along so hopefully we can be it,” Jones said.
Jones and Joseph are also planning to bring D’Beak to Randwick for the Highway Handicap (1200m).
Jones said D’Beak was coming off an unlucky second at Canberra last start.
“We’ve always had a big opinion of him. He’s just been a slow maturing type,” Jones said.