Brilliant three-year-old Jumpingjackmac warmed up for his clash with outstanding colt Lavra Joe in next Friday night’s $200,000 Sky Channel WA Derby in fine style with a most impressive last-to-first victory in the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
His win over Otis and Seeryanfly left trainer Gary Hall Snr and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr looking forward keenly to the prestigious Group 1 feature.
Hall Jnr did not bustle Jumpingjackmac at the start from the outside barrier (No. 9), but he admitted that he was somewhat concerned when he was in last position in the middle stages in the field of eleven.
“I was a bit worried when he was that far back and I thought he was going to have to be good to win,” said Hall Jnr. “I know that a lot of people thought he would just win but it is hard when you are that far back, and he was having just his eighth start.”
Hall sent Jumpingjackmac forward, three wide, with 1200m to travel and the gelding moved to the breeze outside the pacemaker Squinta with 600m to travel before forging to the front 300m later and coasting to victory by 2m from the strong-finishing Otis, with Seeryanfly running home solidly to be an excellent third. Jumpingjackmac rated 1.55.9 after the three final quarters were run in 28.6sec., 28sec. and 29.1sec.
“He raced to the breeze pretty comfortably and I sat up on him in the home straight,” said Hall. “He is a horse you really have to drive out if you want him to completely run through the line. I think he had a little gear left on the line, which was good. I don’t think that we could be more ready for next week’s meeting with Lavra Joe.
“Id like Jumpingjackmac to have had 15 more runs under his belt. But he’s ready, and all we need is a (good) draw. I don’t think we can beat Lavra Joe if he draws inside of us, and I’d say that we would be hard to beat if we drew inside of him.”
Hall Snr was in a buoyant mood after Jumpingjackmac’s victory, saying: “The extra distance (2536m) of the Derby won’t worry him. He did just what he had to tonight and he will be sharper next Friday night because we didn’t hopple him this week.
“The draw is the most important thing. If Lavra Joe draws to lead, we can’t beat him. But if we draw to lead, Lavra Joe can’t beat us. Probably it would be better if neither horse draws to lead and then it will become a battle of tactics. However, I wouldn’t swap my driver or my horse with anything.”
Lavra Joe continued his winning ways with an extremely comfortable victory in the $30,000 Country Derby at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on Saturday night.
Chris Lewis sent Lavra Joe straight to the front from the No. 4 barrier and the powerful colt paced faultlessly in front before coasting to a win by two and a half lengths over Strike Team, who fought on doggedly after trailing the leader all the way. Lavra Joe sprinted over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 26.9sec. and rated 1.56.8.
by Ken Casellas