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By Graham Potter | Monday, May 2, 2022

Jonker, who put a Group 1 exclamation mark on his race record when he won the Manikato back in October 2021, has been retired.

Jonker will stand at Aquis Farm, taking with him the distinction of being the first son of Queensland’s champion sire Spirit of Boom to retire to stud.

As an early two-year-old, Jonker was one of the coming stars of his generation. He won his first two starts by a combined margin of seven lengths before starting as a strong fancy in the 2018 Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic … a race in which he suffered extreme and frightening interference soon after the start and was never seen in the race again.

What effect that incident had on the young horse’s mentality remains difficult to assess. While Jonker didn’t shirk the heavy lifting when it came to the level of opposition he faced on his return to race action six months after the Magic Millions … he subsequently finished in the placings in four Group 2’s behind the likes of Classique Legend, I Am Excited and Redzel … the fact remains that the colt, who had been unbeaten in two starts, did not win another race in his next eighteen starts.

Trainer David Atkins had taken Jonker to a highly creditable form-line, but Jonker’s connections decided a change of scenery would do the horse well … and that is exactly what happened as Jonker’s fortunes turned dramatically with a change of stables and a big change of location after Jonker moved to Tony Gollan in Queensland.


In his first run for Gollan, Jonker set a new track record of 1.07.83 for the Doomben 1200m, winning by 4.50 lengths. The track record he broke had previously been held by no less an equine celebrity then Takeover Target, whose record had stood for fifteen years.

And now Jonker was up and running again and he would go on to claim a number of significant results including a win in the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint and two Group 1 placings in the Galaxy (behind Eduardo) and in the Kingsford-Smith Cup (behind Vega One, in a race where he looked the likely winner until Jamie Kah produced some magic in the saddle to get Vega One through the roadblock she faced in the straight before powering Vega One home to win by a half-length margin).

But Jonker would still get that all important Group 1 win.

That came in the Manikato, in what would turn out to be his third last start.

If ever there was a fitting reward for a horse who was never shy to tackle the best … and always ready to give of his best … this was it.

It was the crowning achievement of a very proud record.

Now a new role at stud beckons.

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