Two-pronged SAJC Derby assault for Maher & Eustace

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable will have Explosive Jack and Let’s Karaka Deel running for them in the Group 1 South Australian Derby at Morphettville.

Eustace can't see any reason why Explosive Jack should not be able to add a Group 1 South Australian Derby victory to the one he achieved in Sydney. 

Explosive Jack won the Group 1 Australian Derby at Randwick on April 10 and will on Saturday attempt to add the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville to make it five wins in eight starts. 

Eustace, who trains in partnership with Ciaron Maher, said with the Australian Derby win under the belt, that Explosive Jack was the horse to beat in his mind. He added that three-year-old returned to Caulfield a week after his Randwick success and had galloped at Werribee and Sandown the past two Saturdays. 

“He has done most of his work at Caulfield and he goes to the beach from Caulfield, and I think he’s held his form very well,” Eustace said. 

Randwick Derby winner Explosive Jack, picture

Maher and Eustace will also saddle Let’s Karaka Deel in Saturday Group 1 contest.  The son of Dundeel has raced only twice this campaign, finishing second on each occasion — firstly in the Mornington Guineas (1600m) on March 20 and then in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) on April 10. 

Eustace said the stable decided against traveling Let’s Karaka Deel to Adelaide for the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) at Morphettville on April 24. 

“He’s going well but needs to step up,” Eustace said. “We were keen to not have to travel him twice, but he doesn’t need over-racing. 

“On a side-note, I think there is a bit of a problem with programming. There should be a trial three weeks into that Derby because traveling over twice, going two weeks, two weeks, is tough on a young horse. 

“We certainly didn’t want to do it with him, but we’re confident we can get him fit enough at home.”