Fancied runner Jet Explorer is a doubtful starter for Saturday’s J & B Met after injuring a fetlock.
National trainers’ log leader Justin Snaith said: “Jet Explorer pulled a shoe during the public gallops last Thursday and banged a fetlock which is still very tender. In other respects the horse is well and he may be completely fine in three days’ time. But it’s the Met we are preparing for and he needs to be in peak condition. We will make a final decision on Friday.”
This is most unfortunate news for owners Pat and Henry Devine as their Jet Master gelding was rounding towards a career best after an exceptional run in the Grade 1 Queens Plate over 1600m three weeks ago.
Held up for a run, the Jet Master gelding made up nine lengths in the final 400m with a powerful finish propelling him to within 1.50 lengths of brilliant miler Capetown Noir.
And in the Champion Cup over 1800m at Greyville last year, Jet Explorer got within 2.50 lengths of Jackson. He is slightly better off at the weights now, which brings him into the mix for Met glory.
So astute early bird punters who swooped on the 33-1 available about Jet Explorer in the early Met betting, will share the connections’ anxiety over the now 10-1 shot’s wellbeing.
Concerns have been raised over his ability to see out the distance, but the Kenilworth 2000m is as easy as that distance gets and the Met has been won before by horses with suspect stamina but a powerful turn of foot – an attribute Jet Explorer certainly possesses.
It will take all of Justin Snaith’s consummate training skills to deal with this mishap. And, as a fine and considerate horseman, he will act in the best interests of Jet Explorer, be it as a Met participant, or not.