WARRNAMBOOL-based jumps jockey Shane Jackson hopes the Jarrod McLean-trained Cougar Express can give him another feature jumping victory when he rides the seven-year-old in the South Australian Grand National Hurdle at Morphettville on Saturday.
The Irish-born Jackson, who has been based in Warrnambool for five years, rode Cougar Express to victory in a hurdle race at Morphettville last month after his regular rider Brad McLean had to forgo the mount due to an injured shoulder.
“It’s a privilege to be riding Cougar Express in one of the jump features,” the 31-year-old said.
“I’m grateful to Jarrod and the owners that they have given me the ride but on the other hand it’s bad luck for Brad.
“I’m just warming the saddle until Brad has his shoulder operated on. I was impressed with the dogged win of Cougar Express last time. I’m confident he’ll appreciate the extra 300 metres of the National Hurdle.”
Cougar Express, who is on the back of three hurdle wins from his last four jumping starts, is the favourite for the race.
Exciting sprinter Jukebox makes his return to racing for Ciaron Maher in the $150,000 John Monash Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Maher has been happy with Jukebox’s trackwork in the lead up to the group three race.
The colt has won three of his six starts. Maher has numerous other runners at Caulfield including Reserve Street, Soul Star and Fanciful Toff.
His promising imported galloper Al Galayel lines up in a $100,000 race at Rosehill.
Darren Weir’s Warrnambool stable is well represented at Caulfield while Aaron Purcell, Jarrod McLean and Symon Wilde will also have runners on the big nine-race program