Inside knowledge puts Penza in driver’s seat aboard veteran Jimarni
JEFF Penza won’t need any instructions from trainer Jason Attard as to how to ride Jimarni in today’s feature having ridden the gelding at 22 of his 28 starts — not to mention the horse’s three wins.
Penza was on board as usual for Jimarni’s “enormous’’ performance at Bathurst last start when third from an outside barrier and under the crushing weight of 60kg.
Today’s race is very different in that Jimarni has the limit weight of 54kg and will start from barrier one; the only constant being the man in the saddle.
“The owners are huge Jeff Pezna fans and Jeff knows the horse like the back of his hand,’’ Attard said.
“Jimarni drew number one which is not a great barrier for the horse but the cutaway (rail) applies there today and he’ll be on the speed and hopefully just get a run up along the rail depending on how bad the track is. We’ll go from there.
“His Bathurst run was enormous — we were all so rapped in Jimarni — he is just an old faithful for the stable. He keeps trying and nearly every race he has raced in he has put in a huge run so he’s been good to us.’’
Attard’s only other runner at Mus- wellbrook this afternoon is the Kiwibred gelding Seeking Affection, who is by Iffraaj, the same sire as New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts and ATC Australian Derby hero Jon Snow.
Seeking Affection will be ridden by Grant Buckley whom Attard acknowledges as being a great friend as well as a great help to him while he was sling-bound after breaking his collarbone following a fall from a horse in trackwork last month. “I usually ride most of my horses (in trackwork) and Grant was the first to offer to come and help us out while I was out of action which is really appreciated,’’ Attard said.
“He’s had a good feel for Seeking Affection having ridden him trackwork. I am not thinking he is going there as a huge winning hope but I think he’ll be finishing off nicely up that long straight at Muswellbrook.’’