It might be Melbourne Cup day on Tuesday, November 7, but at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, the Joseph Jones Racing (JJR) team will be competing in the $3million, 1600 metre, The Big Dance.
But instead of the odds being one in 20, the team will have two horses taking the field.
Bega Cup winner 'Manderboss' has drawn barrier 9 and Snake Gully Cup winner 'Super Helpful' barrier 11.
Matt Jones said the pressure starts now, having built up to this race for a long 12 months.
However, he said the horses were healthy and fit and working well.
With modern training precincts at Canberra's Thoroughbred Park allowing the JJR team to house 44 horses among two stable complexes, their 3000-acre Bombala property and access to Sapphire Coast Turf Club, Barbara Joseph said she couldn't believe more people haven't utilised the Far South Coast for training, especially with access to sand for slow work and bush trails.
On Thursday, November 2, she sat on a comfortable pastel blue couch in the trophy room of the Sapphire Coast Turf Club, surrounded by framed Photofinish winners, her eyes glued to the television mounted in front of her, while her son Matt paced outside towards the winning post.
Simultaneously the pair said, "Go!" as jockey Quayde Krogh rode First Grange clear in the home straight in race one of the Bermagui Country Club Bermagui Cup race meet.
First Grange, which they had originally purchased on the internet for four grand, crossed to claim the $15,000 prize in his maiden race.
"It's taken a while to get him right, but we were pretty confident today that he could win. I've been doing this too long to get nervous," Barbara said with a laugh, and described how she wanted the horse to sit back and wait until the time was right to make its move.
But now her eyes are set on one of the biggest races of her horse training career.
"We're all going [to Sydney], the whole family [and] the three trainers, me and my two sons Matthew and Paul, we'll all go down on Monday, and the horses will come down on Tuesday morning by truck from Canberra," she said.
"It's a very hard race, but anyhow, if you're not in it you can't win it," Barbara said.
"So we're looking forward to it on Tuesday, [we're] all packing up and going to get to Sydney for The Big Dance."
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