Costa Rolfe



Like mother like son: Lovely Jubly’s ‘headstrong’ legacy

Speak to those that best knew 2002 Magic Millions 2YO winner Lovely Jubly, and the barrier antics of the star filly's supremely talented son Chautauqua might make a little more sense.

The instant hit of nostalgia that can be triggered by a familiar name on a newcomer’s pedigree page is one of racing’s great joys. 

And often conjured adjacent to those memories of racetrack exploits past will be a series of questions. Can the progeny live up to their ancestor’s precedent? Will they be stamped by them? Run like them? Behave like them? 

Sometimes the correlation between generations goes no further than ancestry. Other times, it is everywhere you look. 

Take for example the 2002 Magic Millions 2YO-winner Lovely Jubly, whose sixth foal is none other than champion sprinter Chautauqua. 

The distinctive grey dapples carried so compellingly by the gelding known as ‘The Grey Flash’ would not prove the only commonalities shared by the mother-son duo. 

A large chunk of the five-time Group 1 winning sprinter’s incredible talent could of course be attributed to his damside, with Lovely Jubly an outstanding juvenile who won five races in her two-year-old season. 

Chautauqua – he of the trademark ‘impossible’ finishing burst – would however famously prove himself ungovernable in the latter stages of his career, with his race-day participation from the starting gates becoming entirely mood dependent. 

Seemingly out of nowhere, Chautauqua was a law unto himself: ‘I choose not to run’. 


Chautauqua again refuses to jump - much to the interest of rival jockeys - after being sent back to the Cranbourne trials in 2018. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri).

But the genesis of that roguish streak? Recalcitrance, it would appear, is also a heritable trait. 

There are few jockeys in the world that speak with the clarity and detail about the characteristics of horses they’ve ridden than Brett Prebble. 

When the name Lovely Jubly comes up, despite having last sat atop the mare just shy of twenty years ago, Prebble doesn’t miss a beat. 

“She was really hot, she was an extremely difficult ride, she was a repeat bolter and she was really stroppy,” Prebble fired off when speaking to Asian Racing Report. 

“I think a streak of her definitely came out in Chautauqua, it was more than a coincidence because that’s the way she was, she was headstrong and would stand over you and try to push you, and he appeared very much that way inclined too. 

“But,” Prebble added, “it’s that bit of mongrel in them that can make those real good ones stand out from the normal ones.”

Trainer Jason Deamer rode Lovely Jubly in her early trials before taking over the official training of the $36,000 yearling purchase for a period later in her career. 

Then a trackwork rider for Lovely Jubly’s Maitland-based owner-trainer David Throsby, Deamer and his family had the lion’s share of responsibility when it came to preparing the grey at their Newcastle stables.  

“She was certainly a bit of a hot head, she was by Lion Hunter and she was a fiery little horse, she just wanted to get the job done,” Deamer told Asian Racing Report. 

Lovely Jubly cools down. (Photo by Darren England)

“She was actually quite good to ride in trackwork and to train generally. But she was just a bit of a different proposition on race day, she could be flighty and keen to get the race over with once the gates opened. 

“The very first time she came here and came to the track, she was going around lovely and then she got to the 600 metre mark and just took off on me and I thought, ‘Gee this thing’s a goer’.”

Lovely Jubly’s antics surfaced on debut in an 870 metre maiden on the Randwick Kensington track, where she was beaten out of sight by champion filly Victory Vein. 

“She drew the outside but took a huge jump sideways at the start and lost a lot of ground. She did a lot wrong that day and was obviously just very green her first day at the races. 

But then the filly started putting it all together. 

The teachings of her debut applied, Lovely Jubly bounced back with a strong win over the Warwick Farm 1000 metres, before a second at Rosehill justified a trip north for the lucrative Magic Millions 2YO. 

The Gold Coast’s soaring race-day temperatures were almost as hot as Lovely Jubly’s newly-booked jockey Scott Seamer, who was fresh off Cups Double glory on Ethereal and compiling what would become an unprecedented Group 1 winning streak. 

“Larry Cassidy had been riding her but Scott Seamer was the jockey of the moment, winning everything at that time and Mr Throsby approached him and he was very happy to ride her. 

“It was an extremely testing day due to the weather, I think it hit 42 degrees but it was such a huge thrill. She found some trouble in the run but burst through along the inside to win brilliantly.” 

Scott Seamer unleashes Lovely Jubly in the Magic Millions. (Photo by Darren England)

Having displayed speed to claim the Magic Millions, Lovely Jubly would return in the Queensland winter to add two more features to her two-year-old record: this time Group 1 races, and over further. 

Prebble took over riding duties for that campaign and after a somewhat unruly win in the Group 1 Sires’ over 1400 metres, the mile of the Group 1 TJ Smith (now JJ Atkins) posed a problem. 

“There was a doubt about the distance for her, just due to her mannerisms and habit of over-racing,” said Prebble. 

“But the day I won the TJ on her over the mile she basically just bolted on me and charged, it was a seriously huge win, horses don’t pull for that long and still produce an effort the way she did.” 

For Prebble, Lovely Jubly was, ability-wise, very much the equal of his star sprinting filly Pharein, who he steered to two dominant Flemington straight six wins against the older horses during Melbourne Cup week in 1999.

If Pharein were to ultimately be handed the overall edge, it simply came down to that filly’s professionalism. 

“I think she might have been just as good. Pharein did everything right, she was big and strong and she had a lot of speed but did it the right way, she wasn’t off running hard through the bridle and wasting her energy where it wasn’t needed, like Lovely Jubly,” said Prebble.  

“You can get some to go to a different level than others because they get things right, it’s so hard to win those big races in the first place, let alone when they’re doing things wrong and wasting energy during the run. 

“But Lovely Jubly was pretty special, if she could have harnessed her energy and save it all for the business end she would’ve been a lot better, but that’s probably what made her good too, that she was a bit mad.” 




    Subscribe now & get exclusive weekly content from Asian Racing Report direct to your inbox

      Expert ratings, tips & analysis for Hong Kong racing