Jigsaw will line up for his third run at the Cranbourne Cup meeting when he looks to go back-to-back in the Apache Cat Classic.
The Cindy Alderson-trained sprinter finished last on a very wet Cranbourne track as a three-year-old in 2021 before taking out the Apache Cat Classic (1000m) last year. It will be a tougher test on Saturday as he rises 7kg on the weight carried 12 months ago.
But Alderson believes Jigsaw has turned the corner in his preparation after producing a ‘pass mark’ first-up at Flemington before disappointing both trainer and jockey Daniel Moor with his effort when fifth in the Manikato Stakes behind Imperatriz at Moonee Valley on October 28.
“I know that Imperatriz is amazing, but he gave it away pretty quickly and I would have been happy if he finished three lengths closer, but he didn’t,” Alderson said.
A gallop on the Cranbourne racetrack had Alderson content that Jigsaw is ready to return to form come Saturday.
“I was really pleased with him this morning,” Alderson said. “He showed that he has really come on since he ran in that strong race at The Valley, and he’s probably better suited back in grade.
“He’s got a bit of weight to carry, but he’s probably earned it by winning five races last prep.”
Jigsaw raced in career best form last summer; picture Racing Photos
The Apache Cat Classic last year kick-started Jigsaw’s campaign that took him through to winning three Listed races along with the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.
“The horse had a really amazing preparation last time and was in races that worked to his advantage with barriers,” Alderson said. “You could not have wished for a better preparation when down in weight, but now he has to pay the price for that.”
Jigsaw is topweight with 61kg on Saturday, but he is dropping from weight-for-age company to handicap conditions on Saturday.
“Being up against better class horses and having to carry weight has made a difference, but hopefully the drop down in class will help him a lot,” Alderson said. “Hopefully he can go back-to-back on Saturday, and we’ll all be happy.”
With Moor, who has ridden Jigsaw in his last seven starts, Perth bound to ride Forgot You (NZ) in the Group 1 Railway Stakes, Jamie Mott takes the ride on Saturday.