Kiwi three year old Long Jack has enhanced his chances for the 2019 Victoria Derby with an impressive win in the Listed $140,000 Roderick Insurance Brokers Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong today.
Ladbrokes.com.au bookies have wound in Long Jack’s price from $34 to $12 for the Group 1 $2m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2.
In-form jockey Damian Lane punched Long Jack across the line in the Geelong Classic but will miss the ride in the Victoria Derby after being suspended for careless riding for his winning ride on Mer De Glace in the Group 1 $5.15m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
“Unfortunately I will be watching him on the sideline,” Lane said.
“But he is going to go there in good order so there is no reason why he can’t run well.”
Lane settled Long Jack ($6) in the second half of the field and with the blinkers on for the first time, took a little while to settle, but the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained colt was able to weave in between runners in the straight and produced a strong finish at the end of the 2200m.
Runner up Southern Moon ($3.30 equal favourite) cross the field early from a wide gate and raced on the pace for the majority of the race and battled on well over the concluding stages while the Chris Waller trained Relucent, the other equal favourite, also fought on doggedly for third after he was left exposed early in the straight after the leader Exalted Ambition ($41) got a stitch on the home turn and faded to finish last in the sixteen horse field.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Long Jack was wearing the blinkers for the first time as well as ear muffs pre-race and the gear change helped the colt stay calm after he became upset before his previous outing which resulted in a sixth in the Listed $175,000 Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on October 5.
“He was settled today,” co-trainer Murray Baker said.
“We had a real colt on our hands last start at Flemington. We swapped the gear around today and he was pretty quiet.”
The Cambridge trainers will now head to Flemington on Saturday week with Long Jack to give him his chance to win the Victoria Derby.
“He will be in the Derby, whether he can win it or not, we think he is a good horse but he is just three or four months away from it.”