The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Explosive Jack was far too good for his rivals at Morphettville making history when completing the Tasmanian Derby – ATC Derby – SA Derby treble with a big win in the Group 1 2500m feature in Adelaide.
In a masterful training performance by the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable, their flying Jakkalberry colt further cemented himself as the three-year-old stayer of the season with a runaway victory in the Group 1 $500,000 South Australian Derby (2400m).
Having only debuted last November, the up-and-comer has gone from strength to strength securing notable wins in the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) in early February and then the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) three runs later in Sydney.
He did it in Sydney at a blowout price of 20/1, but was firm favourite in South Australian Derby betting in Adelaide.
Jockey John Allen continued his excellent record in the event posting his 12th career Group 1 success, his fifth in South Australia and his fourth in the SA Derby following previous victories aboard: Howard Be Thy Name (2016), Volatile Mix (2017) and Russian Camelot (2020).
“A great training performance by Ciaron and David,” Allen told Racing.com after the win.
“For them to go to Tasmania with him then Sydney, have the horse peak in Sydney and then peak again here four weeks on.
“Maybe it’s onto Brisbane (for the Queensland Derby) next.”
Explosive Jack was posted three wide no cover throughout the race, but was always travelling well as Chris Waller’s eventual last placed runner Solar Apex led the Derby field around.
There was no speed up front and Allen was happy to take a sit settled around mid-field and wide aboard the well-backed favourite producing him approaching the home turn.
Going through his gears well, Explosive Jack raced up to join the in-form Cindy Alderson-trained Liqueuro in front as they began their final run to the line.
Allen hit the button on the top elect and Explosive Jack ($4) responded beautifully, booting into the lead and needing a very good horse to be able to run him down.
“He was always comfortable and always travelling,” Allen said of the impressive 2021 South Australian Derby winner.
“He cruised up to the corner and when I let down, he quickened well enough to put another race to bed.
“He was too good.”
The late challenge came from the spring’s Group 1 VRC Derby fifth placegetter Let’s Karaka Deel ($13), the fellow Maher & Eustace-trained Dundeel colt coming from a wide alley to give chase the final furlong.
Unable to run down his superior stablemate and was forced to settle for his third second place finish on the trot following lead-up placings in the Mornington Guineas (1600m) and Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) this prep.
“I didn’t think there was a lot between them, but I just thought (Explosive) Jack was a little bit stronger,” co-trainer Maher said.
“These owners of Explosive Jack, they really celebrate their wins and they’ve had a lot of good horses and I think they’ve got another one here.
“It was a great ride by Johnny and a super job by the team to get both of these horses here.
“Couldn’t be happier. A super result.”
In third rounding out this year’s SA Derby trifecta was the Matt Cumani-trained Nobel Heights ($18) beaten over five lengths and ridden by apprentice Will Price.
Maher confirmed the team were now considering a potential trip up to Brisbane for a shot at the Group 1 $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 29.
“He’s a tough horse. That term probably gets used loosely, but he’s got a great temperament,” Maher said.
“You never know, he might end up in Queensland now.
“We’ll see how he goes but he certainly didn’t look like he was slowing down today.”
2021 South Australian Derby Results
|1||1||EXPLOSIVE JACK (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||10||56.5kg||$4F|
|2||4||LET’S KARAKA DEEL (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||2.4L||15||56.5kg||$13|
|3||9||NOBEL HEIGHTS||Matt Cumani||Will Price (a)||5.2L||4||56.5kg||$18|
|4||16||SHEBRINGZIT||Mick Huxtable||Karl Zechner||6L||3||54.5kg||$101|
|5||2||ROYAL MILE||Lee Creek||Jacob Opperman (a)||7.8L||2||56.5kg||$12|
|6||6||DEEPSTRIKE (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damian Lane||8.5L||9||56.5kg||$5.50|
|7||15||PERSONAL||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Damien Oliver||8.7L||16||54.5kg||$4.40|
|8||13||TOKEN SPIRIT||Robbie Griffiths & Mathew de Kock||Barend Vorster||10.4L||11||56.5kg||$101|
|9||12||SUPPRESSION (NZ)||Chris Waller||Todd Pannell||11.2L||13||56.5kg||$101|
|10||3||LIQUEURO||Cindy Alderson||Luke Currie||11.3L||6||56.5kg||$6.50|
|11||5||AZALY||Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes||Blaike McDougall||13.9L||8||56.5kg||$51|
|12||14||ICHIBANSAN||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Ms Caitlin Jones||14L||14||56.5kg||$81|
|13||8||MONTEPULCIANO||Richard & Chantelle Jolly||Jake Toeroek||22.7L||1||56.5kg||$81|
|14||10||ABREED||Andrew Noblet||Jason Holder||35.6L||12||56.5kg||$81|
|15||11||SOLAR APEX||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||44.7L||7||56.5kg||$41|
|16||7||MILETUS||Jamie Edwards||Jamie Mott||46L||5||56.5kg||$41|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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