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Blinkers to spark Thompson duo at Randwick

The reapplication of blinkers is expected to be telling for speedy gelding With Your Blessing.

WITH YOUR BLESSING.
WITH YOUR BLESSING. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

John Thompson will saddle up two runners at Randwick and both will be sporting a key gear change, one for the first time.

Blinkers go back on With Your Blessing for Saturday's Catanach's Jewellers Handicap (1200m), while Jojo Was A Man will wear the shades for the first time in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m).

With Your Blessing raced well in blinkers last preparation but Thompson kept them off for his first-up run and he finished a solid fifth to Opal Ridge in the Ortensia Stakes at Scone.

Thompson opted to keep them off for his next start in the June Stakes but the gelding disappointed.

"He's a horse that obviously needs them to switch on," Thompson said.

"I trialled him in them the other day at Randwick and he trialled really well.

"He's spot-on and it's a nice race for him. He loves the wet."

Thompson is hoping the addition of blinkers also does the trick for JoJo Was A Man.

The horse was largely consistent earlier in his career and didn't need them, but after four unplaced runs from a spell, Thompson decided it was time to try something new.

And while he hasn't used blinkers on the gelding before he has thought about them based on the six-year-old's pedigree.

"He is by Al Maher and I've noticed a lot of the Al Maher's do wear blinkers and I think Al Maher wore them himself," Thompson said.

"He has always been a really consistent horse and hasn't really needed them, but it's probably time to give them a burl.

"Reece Jones is back on as well, he hasn't ridden him for a while. He galloped him on Tuesday with the blinkers on and he said, 'put them on, he worked great' so we've put them on."

Jones has a great record aboard JoJo Was A Man, riding him 12 times for five wins and a narrow second to Taksu in the 2022 Winter Stakes.

He is also the last jockey to partner him to victory and gets back aboardfor the first time in 14 months.