APRIL 10, 2024 – Tim Walker,

After the disappointment of missing out on winning the inaugural edition of The Nullarbor (2536m), leading trainers Gary Hall Snr and Greg and Skye Bond will be out for redemption in next week’s $1.25 million feature.

Hall Snr has locked in Jumpingjackmac for his slot, which he owns alongside Steve Waters, while Team Bond picked Minstrel to represent their stable.

Jumpingjackmac was the first West Australian-trained horse across the line in last year’s Nullarbor, where he finished third to Betterzippit and Sprit Of St Louis.

Hall Snr said he was confident Jumpingjackmac, who won last month’s Bunbury Cup, was in better form than last year.

“He’s going really well,” Hall Snr told The Trots WA.

“I know he was well beaten at his last start, but he just couldn’t get into the race.

“He’s got brilliant speed, which he showed at Bunbury, and he can sprint off any pace.”

As well as finishing third in last year’s Nullarbor, Jumpingjackmac confirmed his status as a big race performer with a gallant second to Magnificent Storm in last year’s WA Pacing Cup.

Hall Snr said winning a Nullarbor would be a career highlight.

“It would be a big thrill and I think there’s a bit of prestige about it already,” he said.

“The horse doesn’t win that often, but if they go hard, he can definitely replicate that Bunbury Cup run.”

Team Bond had Steel The Show finish fourth in last year’s Nullarbor and look well placed to improve on that this year with tough pacer Minstrel.

The seven-year-old enters this year’s event off the back of wins in the Pinjarra Cup and Governor’s Cup, which also gave him golden tickets into this month’s Fremantle Cup (2936m).

Minstrel sat outside stablemate Tenzing Bromac in Friday night’s Governor’s Cup and wore him down over the closing stages.

It was a win which filled reinswoman Deni Roberts with enormous confidence for Friday week.

“You get caught, have no luck early and he just keeps charging on,” Roberts told The Trots WA.

“Whatever comes at him late, he just fights them off.

“He’s so in the zone at the moment and I’m pretty happy the Nullarbor is just around the corner.”

Minstrel sits at the top of the TABtouch market for the Nullarbor at $4.50, while Jumpingjackmac is on the seventh line of betting at $10.