Jakkalberry thrills keep coming for Dance

Melbourne Cup placegetter’s son out to give syndicator a cherished Group 1.

DETONATOR JACK. Picture: Racing Photos

When Darren Dance bought Jakkalberry, he hoped he would provide him with one of his biggest thrills in racing.

The son of Storming Home was acquired to win a Melbourne Cup and while he did not achieve that, he ran third in 2012 edition and carried the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock colours all around the world.

He remains one of the most special horses Dance has had anything to do with.

That is why victory by the undefeated Detonator Jack, a son of Jakkalberry, in Saturday's $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) would be up there with the sweetest wins Dance has had in racing.

"To have an opportunity to get one of his sons and compete in a Group 1, that's the stuff dreams are made of," Dance said.

"If he can do it on Saturday, it will be very satisfying for all concerned and it'll be one of the highlights of my career."

Dance had been determined to win a feature race with one of Jakkalberry's progeny ever since he retired to stud in New Zealand in 2014 and jumped at the chance to buy Detonator Jack on the recommendation of Waikato Stud's Mike Rennie.

He was part of the last crop by from Jakkalberry, who succumbed to an intestinal infection in February 2018.

"I said to Mike back when he was working with Michael Wallace that if he ever found a nice Jakkalberry to let me know because I'd love to have a good one by him," Dance said.

"Out of the blue Mike rang me and said, 'I've been out for dinner with a mate of mine who's a breaker and he's breaking in this Jakkalberry and he thinks it could be something special'.

"He said if I wanted to buy it I could. The breeder was happy to take the money, so we bought him and it looks like we've got a good one."

Anyone could have bought Detonator Jack at the 2020 Karaka Yearling Sale, where he was passed in after failing to meet his $100,000 reserve.

He is from the No Excuse Needed mare Red Delicious, who had previously produced Madison County (Pins), the NZ Champion 3YO in 2018/19 thanks to Group 1 wins in the 2000 Guineas (1600m) and Levin Classic (1600m) before a second placing in the ATC Australian Derby (2400m).

Sent to Victoria's leading trainers, Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Detonator Jack has won a 1400m Bendigo maiden before back-to-back wins at Sandown, over 1600m and 2100m.

"It's not often you go to town, go from a benchmark 64 to a 78, step up in distance, get on a wet track for the first time and win like he did last start," Dance said.

"In 30 years in this business I don't think I've had a stayer that's been able to do that at their third run.

"I don't think we know just how good this horse is."

Detonator Jack will have the services of John Allen, who is chasing a fifth SA Derby success and second in a row aboard sons of Jakkalberry, having won last year's on Explosive Jack.


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