By Grahame Timbrell
Silent Jack, the Allan Denham trained four-year-old named after his late father, Jack, broke through for his maiden win over 1500 metres at Muswellbrook last August at only his second start. Denham said then he thought Silent Jack would develop into a middle-distance galloper and immediately sent the four-year-old for a spell.
Silent Jack returns to Muswellbrook on Friday at his second run back from that break and again over 1500 metres for the 1st Rubick Yearlings At The Sales Benchmark 59. Silent Jack, owned by the extended Denham family, resumed in a Class One over 1300 metres at Scone late last month and after being last to the turn started to make ground along the rails for Robert Thompson before running into trouble at the 200 metres.
Thompson was forced to take him to the outside at the 100 metres where he continued to make ground and although he finished second last in the field of 12 was only beaten three and a half lengths behind the Brett Cavanough-trained Bray, the TAB fixed odds $5 third favourite (in from $6.50) for the TAB Highway Hcp at Randwick on Saturday.
Silent Jack was bred in New Zealand and bought by the trainer on the recommendation of a friend: “A mate of mine in New Zealand looks out for horses for me and he found us this one,” Denham said.
“The horse is by a staying sire out of a staying mare so in time I think he is eventually going to get a mile and a half (2400m).”
Silent Jack is by little known New Zealand sire Mettre En Jeu from the Volksraad mare Hahei. Mettre En Jeu is by Montjeu and won four races from 1300 metres to 2100 metres.
Denham and Thompson also combine with Dizzy Success in the Horsepower Class One and Maiden (1750m), a horse that has run three seconds at his last four starts including two at Muswellbrook. He runs into the consistent Just Bute, a maiden winner at Newcastle three starts back before successive seconds at Muswellbrook and Newcastle.
Sydney-based trainers have taken a keen interest in this meeting with Gerald Ryan, Bjorn Baker and Matthew Smith having two runners each, while Richard Freedman, Gary Portelli and Rick Worthington will have one each. In addition, emerging Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup will have three runners.
Ryan and jockey Mitchell Bell combine with Venture Capital in the Godolphin Three-Year-Old Maiden (1280m) and Rode To Sundown in the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale Benchmark 60 (1000m). At her second start from a spell Venture Capital was a luckless third in a Gosford maiden, beaten less than a length after running into trouble on the home turn, soon after straightening and again at the 150m.
Likewise, Rode To Sundown also ran into trouble, also at Gosford, when a first-up fourth in a Benchmark 65 after getting well back early then making contact with another runner on the turn.
Brett Cavanough will have six runners but his most interesting is the first starter Wild Grace which runs in the Olympic Glory @ Arrowfield Class One (1280m). The four-year-old Foxwedge mare could not have been more impressive when second in a trial behind Ori On Fire at Scone late last month, coming from fourth early, working between horses and setting out after the winner and finishing only three-quarters of a length away.
Ori On Fire followed up that trial by winning a Class One at Tamworth eight days later to take his record two wins and three placings from only seven starts.
1-1.50, HORSEPOWER CLASS ONE AND MAIDEN, 1750m: JUST BUTE 1, Dizzy Success 2, I Am The Fox 3, Natchwhali 4.
2-2.25, GODOLPHIN 3YO MAIDEN, 1280m: VENTURE CAPITAL 1, Star Boy 2, Keeva 3, Yazhi 4.
3-3.05, #THEBROOKRACING MAIDEN, 1000m: RAINOVER MANHATTAN 1, Dark Haze 2, Falerina 3, Miss Redoble 4.
4-3.40, MAGIC MILLIONS GOLD COAST YEARLING SALE BENCHMARK 60, 1000m: RODE TO SUNDOWN 1, Kelsha Begs 2, Bridyn May 3, General Artie 4.
5-4.15, 1ST RUBICK YEARLINGS AT THE SALES BENCHMARK 59, 1500m: SILENT JACK 1, No Effort Needed 2, Back To My Bay 3, Tears Of Gold 4.
6-4.50, TAB.COM.AU BENCHMARK 60, 1280m: I CAN HEAR MUSIC 1, Il Dominatore 2, Leica’s Lass 3, Engaging 4.
7-5.30, OLYMPIC GLORY @ ARROWFIELD CLASS ONE, 1280m: WILD GRACE 1, Lets Get Nauti Gal 2, Arrossire 3, Hinchman 4.
Best Bets: Venture Capital, I Can Hear Music