Pay no attention to Joey’s Chance’s ‘ninth’ coming in Tuesday’s De Bortoli Wines Handicap (1200m), the man who has known him since he was a yearling says he hasn’t raced better.
Recent Kosciuskzo medallist, Rodney Northam, takes two six-year-olds to Wyong today, namely Mo’s Crown who is on her third visit while it will all be a new experience for Joey’s Chance.
Joey’s Chance couldn’t have had a worse experience when he made his first trip to Coonabarabran for a dash at the Cup day co-feature Showcase Sprint (1100m).
‘’It was a forget run,’’ Northam says. “He never really got a crack at all. And he probably didn’t really handle the rock hard track there.’’
Even without the unwanted interference, Joey’s Chance would have to have reeled off some pretty slick late splits given the winner’s time of 1.01.99 seconds.
‘’He’s got a good draw on Tuesday,’’ Northam said. “He generally does get back a little bit but hopefully he gets a good. clear passage at some stage in the straight.’’
It’s not a very long straight at Wyong by any measure, but Northam isn’t fazed.
‘’He’s won a couple at Tamworth which has a short straight. He has got a 300m sprint and sometimes the 400m straights like Scone, he sort of gets there and doesn’t quite finish off whereas he might be just better off held up for that extra 100m to give him that really good dash,’’ said Northam.
Whatever the case, the suitable nature of the length of the race is not in question, in fact Northam says it’s ‘’perfect’’.
“1200 is his pet distance. It’s a different tempo from the 1100m and he can travel a little bit closer at 1200.’’
Northam’s theory is born out in the reality, three of Joey’s Chance’s four career wins have been at 1200m.
Should he win at Wyong, Joey’s Chance’s earnings will nudge $150,000, a long way in front of the $32,000 Northam spent on him at the Inglis Classic Sale in 2017.
Joey’s Chance is a half brother to Northam’s own Dane Ripper and Dark Jewel winner, Rosa’s Spur.
Rosa’s Spur was the third foal of her Merson Cooper winning dam, Rosa’s Joy, whereas Joey’s Chance was her thirteenth and last.