The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Explosive Jack is the hard-to-beat favourite in Saturday’s Queensland Derby 2021 with the star Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained three-year-old chasing a rare Derby four-peat.
The bookies are taking no chances with the talented Jakkalberry colt who already boasts wins in the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m), Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) and Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Eagle Farm.
Explosive Jack was ultra-impressive on May 8 at Morphettville backing up from his narrow Australian Derby success in Sydney to win the South Australian Derby running away.
He had over two lengths to spare on the line and pulled up so well connections have opted to run him again this time in Brisbane’s Group 1 $600,000 Queensland Derby (2400m).
With nothing to prove, Explosive Jack is drawn in barrier six with Irishman John Allen aboard once more, the galloper sitting top of the Queensland Derby odds at $2.80 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Allen chases a 10th Derby win in Australia since 2016, but history is against him being aboard the season’s SA Derby winner.
Since 1984, when the SA Derby was moved to its autumn space on the calendar, no horse has done the double and all four champions of the Adelaide feature running unplaced in the Brisbane equivalent.
Explosive Jack is also out to break a notable hoodoo for Australian Derby winners in the Queensland Derby with Strawberry Road (1983) the last to do the double.
If any horse can do it, however, Allen is convinced it is Explosive Jack.
“He is obviously the toughest one of the lot, he just keeps turning up and he has improved each time – the best thing is that he just keeps getting better,” the jockey told Racenet this week.
“His staying ability really comes to the fore in those staying races, Ciaron (Maher) identified that early because his second run was over 2100m – they’ve always had him pinned as a stayer.”
The 2021 Queensland Derby field features a capacity 18 runners but outside of Explosive Jack just two other runners are at single-figures in the markets to win with the widely-drawn Senor Toba ($5) and the SA Derby runner-up Let’s Karaka Deel ($8).
Ace Sydney trainer Chris Waller won the event back in 2013 with Hawkspur and is after a second in 2021 saddling-up Toronado gelding Senor Toba in the outside barrier.
The progressive youngster won Randwick’s Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) two back before a lead-up third – with excuses – in Doomben’s Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) on May 15.
He missed the kick in the Rough Habit and was doing his best work late suggesting he will appreciate the extra metres on the weekend with his Frank Packer winning hoop Hugh Bowman coming back aboard.
Let’s Karaka Deel has drawn a treat in gate three for jockey Ben Allen, the Dundeel colt coming off that second in the SA Derby behind his star stablemate.
The SA Derby results saw Let’s Karaka Deel run second for the third time on the trot, the galloper out to shrug his perennial placegetter status with one last crack at them this weekend.
Of the double-figure fancies those tipped most likely to score an upset include Waller’s early market mover Achiever ($16) coming off a lead-up win at Rosehill, Mark Kavanagh’s son of Shocking Horrifying ($17) and another for Waller (who has six starters in total) in Fortified ($16) chasing a third win on the trot.
2021 Queensland Derby Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||15113211||EXPLOSIVE JACK (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||6||57kg||106|
|2||21025×222||LET’S KARAKA DEEL (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Allen||3||57kg||82|
|3||236217×632||KUKERACHA (NZ)||Chris Waller||James McDonald||2||57kg||79|
|4||268×661031||ACHIEVER||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||11||57kg||79|
|5||x113213505||TOSCANINI||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Robbie Fradd||8||57kg||75|
|6||x144536551||CRIMINAL DEFENCE||Peter & Will Hulbert||Jye McNeil||4||57kg||81|
|7||11733×7004||BUCHAREST||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||19||57kg||78|
|8||2235×51281||HORRIFYING (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Ms Jamie Kah||12||57kg||73|
|9||41×813||SENOR TOBA||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||21||57kg||79|
|10||4234131240||BOLD EXECUTIVE||Garnett Taylor||Ryan Wiggins||15||57kg||68|
|11||14111×6030||SAGACIOUS||Matthew Dunn||Jason Collett||1||57kg||73|
|12||1212||MARANOA||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||9||57kg||69|
|13||232114×757||MR GEE||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||7||57kg||67|
|14||15×3211||FORTIFIED (NZ)||Chris Waller||James Orman||16||57kg||65|
|15||3×89627408||CALM SEEKER (NZ)||Matt Kropp||Les Tilley||20||57kg||59|
|16||251||HEZASHOCKA (NZ)||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Mark Zahra||14||57kg||81|
|17||61076×1532||MT MORT SHARK (NZ)||Matt Kropp||Larry Cassidy||17||57kg||61|
|18||795213||QUIET MICHAEL (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joshua Parr||10||57kg||63|
|19e||86×2642085||SINO DEFEAT||Paul Butterworth||5||57kg||53|
|20e||126×174||OLYMPIC CLASS||Michael Costa||13||57kg||65|
|21e||827×796239||STYLEBENDER (NZ)||Bryce Heys||18||57kg|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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