Maher looking towards Slipper with Jukebox

Trainer Ciaron Maher wants officials to watch Jukebox to gallop with a view to getting the green light to continue with the colt’s preparation towards the Golden Slipper.

Jukebox was controversially withdrawn from Saturday’s $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes by stewards after being inspected twice on Friday by veterinarians.

They were unsatisfied with the colt’s action early on Friday, believing he was showing signs of lameness, and two Racing Victoria vets and an independent vet inspected the colt again in the afternoon and made the decision he was not fit to run.

Maher wants officials to watch the colt gallop because he plans to run him in a Golden Slipper lead-up this weekend, either the Todman Stakes in Sydney or the Black Opal Stakes in Canberra.

“He was nice and bright this morning so I’ll get in contact with the stewards and see if they can come down and watch him gallop,” Maher told radio RSN927.

“There’s two options for him. There’s either the Todman or the Black Opal in Canberra.”

“We’ll get in contact today and see if they can come and watch him gallop, because I think the horse is going very well and if they can watch him gallop, that should satisfy them hopefully.”

Jukebox has won his only two starts, a maiden at Geelong and the Inglis Premier at Caulfield and had been among the leading chances for the Blue Diamond.

“They trotted him up in the morning and they weren’t happy with his action,” Maher said.

“I explained to them that he has got a very shuffly action, and it was very similar to him going into his last two starts as what he was going in on Saturday.”

Maher said he felt the colt’s action was still similar to how he was before his first two starts.

“He’s always had some feet issues. He’s had glue-on shoes since he went to the breakers and I thought he was similar,” Maher said.

“But anyway, those are the breaks. Hopefully we can get him spot on and move on towards the Golden Slipper maybe.”

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