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Juke Box Jury Melbourne Cup Bound


Following his dead heated victory in the Group One Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh last Saturday, trainer Mark Johnston has not hesitated in beginning the necessary administrative preparations for his runner to take his chances in the Melbourne Cup in November and a bid at the £2million first prize that goes to the winner!

The son of Montjeu shared top prize last weekend in the Irish Field St Leger with John Gosden’s Duncan, adding to his Group 2 win over 1m7f in Deauville in August when beating Kasbah Bliss by three lengths. These two efforts confirm the five year old as a very serious proposition for the Melbourne Cup, where he is set to carry 57kg  and has shown enough over longer distances to suggest that the 2 mile trip at Flemington won't be a problem.

The bookmakers certainly rate his chances of winning the richest handicap in the World with odds around 25/1 on offer but that price will fluctuate between now and the race in early November assuming that the horse travels well and runs impressively in any other races at the Spring Festival.

Juke Box Jury's connections are said to be excited by the prospect of the grey's chances in the race and there's no question Mark Johnston's ability to get him ready for the race and there's no question about his current form having won three of his four starts this season but the question remains who will ride him and whether Johnston and owner, Alan Spence, will go for an Australian jockey with course knowledge of stick with Johnny Murtagh who was so brilliant on him at the Curragh last week.

Prior to Murtagh getting the ride last week, the horse had been ridden this season by Neil Callan, who has ridden him to victory him twice including that excellent performance at Deauville. In between times he was ridden exclusively by Royston French, who won two Group 2 races and the Group 1 in Germany. Johnston therefore would have plenty of choice of riders, all of which would love the opportunity to take on their Australian counterparts.

His chances of victory were also improved in the last 24 hours following the announce that Maluckyday, second in the race last year and the long time antepost favourite to win this time will not be running after the horse has attracted a virus and is out for the foreseeable future.

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