Jonker has rocketed into contention for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic with an impressive debut win at Newcastle.
Sent out the $1.45 favourite in Sunday’s Max Lees Classic (900m), the David Atkins-trained two-year-old led all the way to beat Alison Of Tuffy ($51) by a commanding three lengths for local trainer David Atkins and jockey Aaron Bullock.
After a $5000 bet before the race, Jonker firmed from $26 to $15 for the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast on January 13 and the TAB tightened him again to $11 equal second favouritism after his debut.
Before Sunday, Jonker had won a 900m-barrier trial by 9-1/4 lengths.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Bondi is the $8 Magic Millions favourite with Lindsay Park filly Qafila the other $11 chance.
Jonker ran 51.27 seconds for the 900 metres, his final 600 in 32.85s.
“He’s run time and did a bit of work. The way he raced 1200 metres looks ideal for him,” Atkins told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“He’s got a good turn of foot and he’s go to the Magic Millions if he’s good enough.”
The race was named for the late champion trainer Max Lees who prepared many Group One winners from his Newcastle stable including two-year-old triple crown winner Luskin Star and five winners of the Coolmore Classic.