Explosive Jack claims third Derby success

Explosive Jack (NZ) (by Jakkalberry) may be given the opportunity to chase a fourth Derby success after taking out the Adelaide version at Morphettville on Saturday, the three-year-old adding the $500,000, Group 1, TAB South Australian Derby (2500m) to previous wins in the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick. 

Ciaron Maher, who trains Explosive Jack in partnership with David Eustace, has not ruled out a trip to Brisbane for the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in three weeks following Saturday’s victory. 

Providing John Allen with his fourth win in the race in six years, Explosive Jack, the $4 favourite, raced to a 2-½ length win from $13.00 chance Let’s Karaka Deel (by Dundeel), with $18.00 outsider Noble Heights (by Fiorente) 2-¾ lengths off in third. 

“He’s a tough horse,” Maher said after the Classic success. “The team have managed him really well. He’s been to all our locations and you never know, he may end up in Queensland yet. He certainly didn’t look like he was slowing down today.” 

Explosive Jack led home a one-two finish for Maher and Eustace, as runner-up Let’s Karaka Deel continued his run of second placings in his three outings this campaign. 

“I didn’t think there was a lot between them but I just thought Jack was a little bit stronger,” Maher said. “The other horse [Let’s Karaka Deel], when he furnishes, is going to be a really nice horse as well and the blinkers obviously helped him.” 

Allen said the South Australian Derby had certainly been a good race for him. He won his first Group 1 when successful on Howard Be Thy Name in 2016, before Volatile Mix scored in 2017, then Russian Camelot last year. 

“It’s obviously a great training performance by Ciaron, David and all their team, to take the horse to Tasmania, to peak in Sydney, and peak again here,” Allen said. 

“It was messy early but we were three-wide with cover and they went very slow … I was able to flow into it and when he cruised up to them on the turn, I knew the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was running out the trip.”