Image: Steve Hart
A campaign that didn’t go to plan finally hit the right note for Jojo Was A Man, who took advantage of the change in fortunes to post a strong win at Randwick.
Trainer John Thompson had to be patient with the gelding who choked when not placed first and then inflicted his own last-start loss when he had to pick up speed after a slow jump and tired late.
There were no such problems on Saturday as JoJo Was A Man ($7) bounced clear and apprentice Reece Jones found a lovely closing position to cover.
He had to wait for a split to appear, but once it did the five-year-old battled through it to win the Schweppes Handicap (1600m) by 1-1/4 lengths, with Mahogoni ($5) showing off Democracy Manifest ($2.35 fav ) per second.
“He did everything right today. He got off to a good start and put himself in the right spot,” Thompson said.
“I was a bit worried coming into the corner, he was in the pocket but he got out quite comfortably and got the job done.
“He’s gotten a little bit better every time this preparation. He built on that and worked well here on Tuesday.
“He was ridden by Reece (Jones) and we both left with a bit of confidence.
Thompson has no big plans for the winner but is delighted to have rediscovered winning form.
“We had a few problems but we’ve got it all out of the way now,” he said.
“He’s a smart horse and he’ll pass the grades.
Democracy Manifest had his first test over a mile but fell too far back in an inconclusive performance after a late start.
Trainer Chris Waller confirmed the horse would be spelled and expected to return a more polished product.
“He drove well but he made it awkward by missing the start,” Waller said.
“It’s the little things that just hold him back. He’s ready for a break so we’ll put a spell on him and bring him back and he’ll be a more mature horse.”
Jones was part of a successful afternoon for the drivers who won six of the 10 races between them.
Zac Lloyd led the way with a triple courtesy of Credit Crunch, Sunshine In Paris and Kanazawa, while Dylan Gibbons celebrated a double with Just In Reach and Made By Khan.
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