Triple Derby winner Explosive Jack will commence his preparation towards the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November when he contests the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
While undefeated over the distance, his sole victory over 1600m came in maiden company when the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained gelding was on debut last year, and they don’t expect him to feature in the finish this weekend.
“His first start at Swan Hill was the one and only time he has raced over a mile,” Maher told RSN927.
“Especially with the lack of speed, on paper, it looks like he will be bowling around and that will bring him on.
“He is on track and has a good base on him. He has still got a bit to come in the coat, but I would say that run with some sweat will bring him on.”
Dominant in his classic season, Maher said he hasn’t developed significantly over his short winter break, but he expects him to be competitive with the rise in distances as the Melbourne Spring Carnival progresses.
“He is a very strong, well-built horse that was almost like a four-year-old anyway. He hasn’t really changed a lot,” Maher said.
“I don’t think that is a concern. It almost looked like he needed a run each time he ran (in autumn) and that’s just attributed to his constitution and the way he goes about things.
“Going from three-year-old races to open company as a four-year-old is always tough, but I think he is a real genuine stayer. The Melbourne Cup is probably a bit more appealing to him rather than the Caulfield Cup.
“He probably needs the weather gods, just for a shower of rain to get the sting out of the track.”
Explosive Jack was purchased out of Novara Park’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $100,000 and the three-time Derby winner was part of a clean sweep of Derbys in Australia last season by New Zealand breds.
– NZ Racing Desk