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Gai Waterhouse | Gai Waterhouse News 57758 Playing By The Rules

Playing By The Rules

Fri, Feb 16, 2024

Playing By The Rules
Our Racing Manager, Emma Reeves, aids us with programming and identifies who she thinks is the best placed horse each weekend.

Jon Bon, Saturday 17th February, Newcastle, Race 6:

Very difficult one this week with the Carnival starting to heat up so I thought I’d use the opportunity to give the Jon Bon story that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I would imagine that few people were expecting to see him salute over 1200 metres on debut against the older horses, myself included. I saw it as a starting point with a view to get him over further but that win prompted us to spell and geld him, enabling us to get the timing right for the ATC Derby. Last year’s Derby winner, Major Beel, was a similar style of horse so we used his autumn program as a blueprint. Jon Bon began in the very same race this preparation and while it wasn’t the same result, we learnt a few things. Firstly, we’ve added blinkers to keep him focused and sharpen him up and secondly, he has completed some intensive barrier work. We also took him to the Randwick races on Wednesday to stand in the tie up stalls, simulating a raceday experience. Our goal is to bring his pre-race energy levels down so every ounce of energy is reserved for his race. Yes, he races older horses which is tough, but I just think that these additional ingredients combined with the step up in trip should see him be much more competitive.