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Image: Darren Winningham
Master Jamie will head to Townsville to defend his crown

Master Jamie, who was the toast of the town after winning the Rockhampton Cup on July 9, will now head to Townsville to defend his crown in the Cleveland Bay Handicap on August 6, a race which he won last year when defeating Doctor Zeus, who himself is likely to once again be a Cleveland Bay contender, having bounced back to form with a win of his own in the Rockhampton Newmarket the day before Master Jamie’s Cup triumph.

Master Jamie is a marvel … and, if ever there was an example of a trainer getting the very best of out a horse, Graeme Green’s superb management of Master Jamie would rate very highly in that regard.

Seventeen wins and fourteen places from forty-two starts, with $792 500 banked in prize-money, tell the story of a successful career that was already put well and truly on track very early in Master Jamie’s career.

The son of Poet’s Voice in fact won eleven of his first fourteen starts … including separate runs of five wins in succession and another of four wins in a row … the last two of those wins in that second sequence coming in town at Eagle Farm at a time (in early 2020) when he was clearly ready to make that transition to the higher level.

Later that year, Master Jamie would finish third behind Jonker in the Listed Keith Noud Stakes (Jonker would go on to win the Magic Millions Sprint before putting a Group 1 win on his record in the Manikato Stakes) … and then Master Jamie won again in town in The Gateway at Eagle Farm which gave hm a ballot-free entry into the Group 1, 2021 Stradbroke Handicap.

He did not perform that day, but he has been kicking on with meaning ever since, showing his continued, competitive zest for the contest and underlining that commitment with another two successive wins in his last two starts in the Tattersall’s Gold Cup at Rockhampton (which was the second win in which Master Jamie had lumped a whopping 65.5kg to victory) and then in the Cup Itself.

Green is often emotional after Master Jamie wins, as he has a right to be after putting so much into the horse, and the scenes after the Rockhampton Cup win were no exception.

Jockey Les “Bubba’ Tilley, who has ridden Master Jamie in no less than ten of his victories takes up the story.

“It was an emotional win,” acknowledged Tilley. “It was so surreal for me to have won another Cup (Tilley previously won the Cup on Mamselle Corday in 2018) … and to have won another race on Master Jamie and for him to have run a mile like that … but I was good as gold emotionally until I saw Graeme.

“He gave me a big hug. He was so emotional and his daughter, Mully, was crying and the owners were emotional. I definitely felt it … all of the emotion and energy … but I managed to hold in my own emotion … although it got pretty close.

“But it was great … just to see a good guy and a good horse win their home-town cup. It was a fantastic result. I’m just so proud of the horse.

“He was going to turn up after the start before and drop 6kg. Once I sat on him, just looking at the horse and feeling the horse, he was a different horse again … a lot better, a lot fitter, a lot fresher.

“He is a tough horse … and he is a character. Going to the gates he was bucking and farting around … and squealing. Every time I have won on him, he has always been squealing and kicking out on the way to the gates … so that is obviously a positive with him.

“When he doesn’t do that, he is always flat … so behind the gates I was thinking, geez, it’s game on here.

“Once he got to the 400m, I just gave him a little click and a little kick and he just exploded. I knew nothing could improve as quick as I did and that they wouldn’t catch him, so I was able to enjoy it from at least the 100m.

“Now he’ll go back up to the Cleveland Bay where he will only carry 61kg over 1300m.

“Yes … I will be on him.”

And let’s leave the last set of comments to the man himself … Graeme Green.

“Master Jamie pulled up enormous and he will now go to the Cleveland,” confirmed Green.

“Yeah, my emotions have calmed down a bit. It has been a roller-coaster ride the last couple of weeks. He is a very special animal.

“He is a pleasure to have in the stables,” continued Green. “Raceday is a different with him. He is an absolute gentleman in the stables … one of the cleanest horses you will ever come across. He has not got a malicious bone in his body, but you’d swear his got his own internet circuit and he knows when race-day is, and he looks at the fields.

“Even from walking from down here at our stable-block to the tie-up stalls on race-day … once you get past the pool, he knows it is race-day and he really switches on.

“On Cup day, he was like a helium balloon once he got past the pool. He was up in the air and dancing and snorting and squealing and that was ok, because from day one when he would give a couple of little pig-roots going out you knew he was on his game.”

And so now it is on to that Cleveland Bay title defence for Master Jamie where Green and Bubba Tilley will be hoping that Master Jamie will be putting on that pre-race display.

You know what that means!

 
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