Taranaki trainer Janelle Millar has three chances to hit a new career high at Trentham on Saturday.
Millar has saddled 89 winners in her 15 years of training, with more than 60 of those coming in the last seven years.
That total includes two black-type successes – a Listed double in the Wanganui and Marton Cups by Just The Tip during the 2014-15 season.
Millar will saddle three big-race runners on Saturday, with Tinkalicious and Ruby Love lining up in the Gr. 3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes while Jakkalbomb tackles the Gr. 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks.
“I’ve never had a runner in a Group One race before,” Millar told www.theinformant.co.nz. “Just The Tip ran in a Wellington Cup, but that had been downgraded by then (at that stage Group Two).
“So it’s exciting to have a Group One runner on Saturday, and everything’s gone pretty smoothly in the build-up.”
Jakkalbomb won a maiden race in November and has been a consistent placegetter ever since, including in the Gr. 3 Desert Gold Stakes (second to Secret Allure), the Listed Oaks Prelude (third to Elate and Clementina) and the Gr. 2 Lowland Stakes (fourth behind Queen Of Diamonds, Shezathinka and Imelda Mary).
“She’s been really good in strong races in her last few starts,” Millar said. “The Lowland was her first time up over 2100 metres and she just came to the end of it in the last bit. If she’d had a bit of cover earlier in the race, she might have been even closer to them at the line.
“She got home at about 1am after that race, and when I checked her feed bowl she’d licked it out.
“Her work’s been good since then. We’ve done a bit of beach work and taken her for walks through the forest, just to change things up a bit. She’s coping with everything really well and she’s fit.”
Millar has no stamina concerns around Jakkalbomb. Her sire Jakkalberry placed in a Melbourne Cup, while dam Explosive Girl is a full-sister to the dam of last year’s New Zealand Derby winner Vin De Dance.
“The 2400 metres definitely shouldn’t be a problem for her,” Millar said. “She’s bred to run the trip, being closely related to Vin De Dance.
“My only question mark was going to be a wet track (currently Dead6), but it looks like most of the rain might blow away now. We’re crossing our fingers anyway.”
The TAB rates Jakkalbomb an $18 chance in a market headed by Queen Of Diamonds ($4), Pinmedown ($4.80) and Imelda Mary ($6.50).
Meanwhile, last-start winner Tinkalicious is an $11 chance in the Cuddle Stakes with Ruby Love at $41.
“They’ve both done really well leading into this race,” Millar said. “Like Jakkalbomb, we’ve tried a few different things with them to keep them happy and interested. They’re both fit enough.
“They both found the line strongly in their last start. I actually can’t really choose between them, they’re pretty similar in a lot of ways.”