John Allen attempting to win his fifth SA Derby on Detonator Jack

Detonator Jack
Detonator Jack winning at Sandown. Photo: Scott Barbour – Racing Photos

It is not just John Allen’s incredible record in the South Australian Derby which has the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable excited about Detonator Jack’s chances at Morphettville on Saturday.

Allen – a winner of four of the past six Derbies – also has a high opinion of the three-year-old leading into the 2500m staying event worth $502,250.

And the stable’s bloodstock manager Will Bourne sees similarities to the way Allen has enjoyed so much success on stablemate Hitotsu, the combination being the reigning Victoria Derby, Australian Guineas and Australian Derby champions.

“It’s his (Allen’s) record in the event, and as you’ve seen with Hitotsu he knows how to work the horse,” Bourne told of the second-favourite with Ladbrokes at $3.90.

“He’s got a lot of faith in this horse’s ability. That really translates to a confident ride.

“You saw that last time at Sandown (the two combining to win a $50,000 Benchmark 78 Handicap over 2100m by 1.5 lengths over Saturday’s opponent, The Nephew, on April 18).

“He knew what he had underneath him, and he let the horse relax and then hit the line.

“He was confident the whole way through and didn’t panic. He wasn’t messy, so I’m super excited for Saturday.”

In fact, Bourne believes the similarities between Allen on Detonator Jack – and his success aboard Hitotsu – are uncanny

“It’s almost identical. You saw on Hitotsu he did the same thing. He was very confident in the trackwork he did seven days prior,” Bourne said.

“He knew he could go out and win. And I think this horse is a very similar feel. He’s very confident going into the race on Saturday.”

Allen’s upbeat attitude about Detonator Jack’s chances has spread throughout the entire stable.

“Ciaron and David and everyone are pretty conservative and trying not to be overly confident,” Bourne said.

“But he’s shown a lot of ability. His work before the Derby has been very sharp and impressive.

“We do have a lot of confidence going into the race.”

Detonator Jack’s sire was the late, great Jakkalberry, a globetrotting stayer who won the US St Leger in 2012, before finishing third in that year’s Melbourne Cup among other achievements, which included Group wins in Italy.

He was euthanised at 12 after suffering an intestinal infection in February, 2018.

“Jakkalberry is unfortunately no longer with us. Explosive Jack the Derby king was by Jakkalberry,” Bourne said.

“There weren’t a lot of them, but he seemed to have had a good ability as a sire.

“The horse was purchased by Darren Dance with Mike Rennie over in New Zealand.

“It wasn’t a steal, but Mike Rennie is a really trustworthy agent. And he gave the horse big raps and a big push to Darren.

“And credit to Darren – he backed Mike and bought the horse.”

Everyone who laid eyes on Detonator Jack thought he would be something special from an early age.

“Anyone who had anything to do with this horse thought he was class,” Bourne said.

“It was great to get that honest feedback and transparency from New Zealand, and it was lucky enough that we bought him.”

Detonator Jack’s Odds In SA Derby

Race 8 – Silk #6 Detonator Jack (15)

3yo Gelding | T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | J: John Allen (56.5kg)

$3.90 with Labrokes

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