A stroke of luck and deft bargaining with a Japanese stud were instrumental in Coffs Harbour trainer Jim Jarvis gaining promising Law Of The Jungle, who chases back-to-back wins on his home track on Friday.
The three-year-old by 2001 Japan Derby and Cup winner Jungle Pocket, tackles the Rehau 3YO Country Plate (1200m) with Jarvis’ 19-year-old apprentice Codie McPherson in the saddle.
During the infamous equine influenza (EI) outbreak Jarvis, then residing in Victoria, had two mares booked to the former Bart Cummings-trained stallion Pendragon.
However, due to travel restrictions, Pendragon was unable to relocate from NSW to Victoria leaving Jarvis in a quandary.
Meanwhile, Jungle Pocket, who had stood in New Zealand, was caught up at a quarantine station, unable to return to Japan.
Jungle Pocket wasn’t even allowed to go back to New Zealand, that country barring all horses from Australia during EI.
“I got a whisper from a float driver mate of mine that Jungle Pocket was heading to Holly Stud in Victoria until the Japanese worked out what to do with him,” Jarvis said.
“Anyway, one thing led to another and I contacted the owners and asked if they were prepared for him to serve my two mares in the interim.
“I told them I was broke and only wanted to pay $6000. I think he (Jungle Pocket) stood in New Zealand for $15,000.
“They weren’t too keen at first but in the end relented. Eventually Jungle Pocket stayed at Holly Stud.”
Law Of The Jungle is out of the Final Card mare Mannadene Star.
“He was immature early and we broke him in as a mid-two-year-old,” Jarvis said.
“He came back into work as a late two-year-old and it wasn’t long before he started showing us something on the track.”
After winning a jumpout and trial easily on home soil, Jarvis produced Law Of The Jungle at Grafton on September 29, with the gelding making ground late for a three-length third to Bymonashee and Power Receiver.
“He was a bit wayward, got lost, but I was happy enough with the run,” Jarvis siad.
Law Of The Jungle then scored an impressive length win over 1150m at Cessnock on October 10.
“I was going to spell him but he won so convincingly and has done really good since, he can back up tomorrow before a three-month spell,” Jarvis said.
“He’s done terrific.
“I think he’s a metropolitan horse in the making. I’ve got a very big opinion of him.
“He’s still got to take the next step but next preparation, if he can, we’ll have a real nice horse on our hands.”