A dead-heat will be enough for boom apprentice Reece Jones to raise the bat on a century of winners, fittingly, on his home turf in the nation’s thoroughbred capital of Scone on Monday.
Jones will wake up Monday morning on 99-½ wins for the 2020/21 season which draws to a close on Saturday.
Jones probably won’t need those five days to reach the 100 thanks to a handful of winning chances at Scone, three of them supplied by his master Rodney Northam, including Gold Lunar and Spilt.
Jones’ rise to prominence hasn’t affected his humility, says Northam, but it has boosted his confidence.
‘’When Reece first outrode his claim, he was sort of a little bit down on himself because the winners weren’t coming as quickly as he wanted,’’ Northam explained.
“But in the last month or so, he has been riding a lot of winners and is starting to establish himself without a claim now.
“At the start of the season he was probably having three or four good rides out of every 10 but now he is having seven or eight good rides out of 10 which is really good for him.’’
Other than personal and professional pride, one of the big pay-offs for Northam is the fact he has virtual exclusivity on one of the most sought after jockeys in the State.
It would naturally be a nice touch for both master and apprentice if Jones’ ton comes courtesy of a Northam trained horse which is indeed likely given the prospects of the stable’s Gold Lunar.
The granddaughter of Choisir was a canny $13,000 purchase by Northam at the 2019 Inglis Sale; not only has the filly paid for herself, she is in line to collect close enough to $20,000 if successful on Monday.
‘’She can run a good race fresh, especially on her home track with the big long straight which should suit her,’’ Northam said.
‘’She hasn’t got a lot of early speed but she builds momentum and if she can get plenty of clear running up the straight, she should be hitting the line.’’
In the event that Jones hasn’t won on the front half of Monday’s card, he might be saved on the way home by Spilt who lines-up in the penultimate race.
A son of the aforementioned Choisir, Spilt, has only managed to win once in his 17 starts but that victory happened to be in the 2019 Scone Inglis Challenge worth $100,000.
Spilt has never been as consistent as he is now with three placings from as many appearances this time in.
‘’He is knocking on the door and hopefully can get the job done on Monday,’’ Northam said.
“He has drawn a little bit awkward but he does tend to get back and need a bit of room in his races.’’
Northam’s other main chance at Scone on Monday is Spritza Seritza who was runner-up to the handy Lady River at home on June 1, two starts prior to her booming maiden win there eight-days ago.
Originally published asReece Jones to raise the bat on a century at Scone Monday
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