Paul Jones and Barbara Joseph. Photo: Graham Tidy
THE training partners Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones are expecting the veteran galloper Back To Zero to further improve second-up, after a solid effort in the Bombala Cup.
After a long stint in the paddock because of injury, Back To Zero returned to racing in the country event, finishing a respectable third behind fellow Canberra gallopers, Outside and Trescorpioni.
Joseph said she was pleased with the Reset gelding's effort considering the long spell before the first-up run.
''His run in the Bombala Cup was really good. He had nearly 12 months off and I thought he did a great job,'' the Canberra trainer said.
''His last 50 [metres] was his best. He found the line really well.''
Back To Zero will run a further 200m second-up after his 1200m race at Bombala.
The seven-year-old was nominated to race in both today's feature event at Goulburn and the ACTTAB benchmark 70 handicap at Canberra on Tuesday.
With triple the prizemoney on offer today, a tilt at the Anniversary Cup at Goulburn looks the likely option for Back To Zero.
However, at the time of writing Joseph and Jones had still not made a definite decision.
''We still need to … decide whether we go to Goulburn or Canberra,'' Joseph said. ''It's just a matter of picking the race which is the best chance for the horse.''
Apprentice jockey Kayla Cross, who rode Back To Zero in the Bombala Cup, makes way for Canberra apprentice rider, Kayla Nisbet, irrespective of which meeting they elect to take the seven-year-old to.
It will be the first time Nisbet has ridden Back To Zero in public.
Joseph said they will instruct her to settle the horse near the back of the field and mount a challenge on the straight.
Joseph said Back To Zero is in good stead for his second-up outing, and should give a good sight wherever he ends up racing.
''He's done really well and he's had a bit of time between runs, which he probably needed to get over his first-up run,'' Joseph said.
The Canberra trainer all but ruled out Back To Zero's chances of lining up in the $100,000 Goulburn Cup over 1600m later this month, despite a win in today's race guaranteeing him a spot in the field.
''The Goulburn Cup is coming up, but I think that's a bit out of his league now,'' she said.
Joseph confirmed that they will be looking for a race of about a mile third-up.