Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace didn’t need another reason to celebrate on Saturday night, but Detonator Jack surely had the Melbourne Cup winners eagerly looking forward to 2023 after a soft win during the day at Sandown.

The Maher/Eustace Christmas Party will give a chance to reflect on yet another record-breaking year for Victoria’s champion yard and to look ahead to the next 12 months, where Detonator Jack will be given his chance to show his yet untapped staying qualities.

Detonator Jack was sent out a hot ($1.65) favourite in the Importer Handicap (1600m) despite the son of Jakkalberry’s preference for a longer trip, but as stable representative Jack Turnbull explained, Detonator Jack has much more to give.

“This horse is all about rhythm,” he said of the horse that has won five of his seven starts. “He can travel so well which he did today.

“The step-up in trip obviously helped – we had to stay at seven (furlongs) because of the program – but the further this horse gets out (in distance), the better he’s going to be.”

Detonator Jack, who wears the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock’s fluorescent yellow racing colours, has raced at 2500m just once when third in last season’s G1 SA Derby, but Turnbull said the stable was in no rush to get him back to a long distance.

“I was just talking to David and Ciaron and there is no set plan,” Turnbull said. “We’re not going for something fancy. We just go through the grades and try and reap the rewards as we go through.”

Jockey Harry Coffey said he was impressed with the way the horse chased, but said he still had improvement to come.

“He got there with relative ease, but when he got to the front, he wanted to have a good look around,” Coffey said.

“He’s always been a bit of a lad and he’s still got some of those quirks.”

Punters were happy to take the red figures on the lightly raced horse, who set out after Pounding inside the final 200m, with that pair racing clear of the field.

On the line, Detonator Jack ($1.65) was pulling clear and had a half-length margin over Pounding ($15) with nearly three lengths to third-placed veteran So Si Bon ($21). The $3.70 chance Green Fly was never in the race with the import finishing a well-beaten fifth.

Article Credit: Andrew Eddy –

Photo Credit: Racing Photos

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