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Detonator Jack holds aces in Ingham

The rural surrounds of Maher Racing’s supplementary Bong Bong Farm facility has been put to good use ahead of Detonator Jack’s bid to deliver the leading yard a first win in The Ingham. The gelding enjoyed a bit of R & R at the property following his dynamic Gong victory last month and co-trainer David Eustace said it had helped to keep the horse fresh for his Randwick mile bid. 

“He had a week at Bong Bong and that has really helped, he’s thrived doing that,” Eustace said. “Then we brought him in [to Warwick Farm], and he’s just had a piece of work since. He’s going two weeks, two weeks, so he’s having a relatively busy time, but it will almost certainly be his last run. There will be nothing left for him anyway.” 

Detonator Jack (NZ) had a quick freshen-up in preparation for The Ingham; picture Racing Photos

The Ingham (1600m) will be Detonator Jack’s seventh start in a campaign that has included a stakes placing and two minor prize finishes in the Five Diamonds Prelude and the Five Diamonds, along with his Gong triumph. 

If he can add Saturday’s $3 million Ingham to his resume, he will become the first horse to claim the rich spring-summer double, superseding the effort of Quackerjack who was second in the 2019 The Gong before going one better in what was then known as the Villiers Stakes. 

Jason Collett retains his association with Detonator Jack (NZ) and Eustace isn’t overly perturbed by the five-year-old’s wide draw in barrier 15. 

“Tempo will be key,” he said. “He’s put in some very good performances ridden from off the pace, so without having had a good look at the race yet and the speed, I’d say if they went quick we’d just ride him patiently and he has got a good turn of foot.” 

The winner of The Ingham is granted a ballot exemption from the Doncaster Mile, a race Eustace believes could work for Detonator Jack (NZ), particularly if Sydney has a wet autumn. 

“It would be the obvious race to work back from, especially if we got wet ground,” Eustace said. “We’ll get through Saturday but it’s a nice carrot going into the race.” 

Stablemate Charterhouse (Ire) has also been sent to Sydney for The Ingham, entering calculations after claiming the Cranbourne Cup (1600m) last start. However, the import’s best runs in Australia have been on rain-affected ground and Eustace says they will weigh up whether to start him on a drying track. 

“He got give in the ground at Cranbourne, which I think is key to the horse,” he said. “Saturday, he’s not going get that, so we’ll have a think about what we do.” 

The past nine winners of The Ingham/Villiers Stakes have finished in the top four at their final lead-up run, with Ninth Legion in 2013 the last horse to win the feature after missing a cheque at its previous start.

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