The Gary Alexander Racing Team pulled an ace out of their sleeve in a lightning SA Champions Season raid at Greyville on Friday evening. The Querari gelding Kangaroo Jack spreadeagled a quality field to register a sparking win in the R400 000 Gr2 Post Merchants and is likely to only be seen in action again next season.
Dean Alexander, who was on duty for the Gary Alexander Racing Team, confirmed in an interview with the Sporting Post after the race that Kangaroo Jack had likely had his last race as a 3yo:
“We will take him home now, and do the housekeeping and give him a break,” he said.
Asked where they had found this promising sprinter, he was happy to recount that a phone call from owner Mrs Joyce Wallace had come ‘out of the blue’.
“Mrs Wallace literally rang Gary (Alexander) up and asked us to train Kangaroo Jack! We are so thrilled to have been able to provide her with this lovely win – he looks to have a nice career ahead of him,” he said.
So a superb evening all round for the Alexanders, the emerging star Querari and his talented son, who shares his name with a movie of a few years ago – who regrettably didn’t attract the same kind of reviews!
Twelve sprinters lined up to contest the 1200m feature and with big names like Red Ray and the highly vaunted Buckland dominating the betting boards, the lightly raced and very progressive 3yo Kangaroo Jack arrived hardly unnoticed and was easy to back at 14-1 as he went to post under the radar.
With Asstar slow off, Buckland was out quickly and led London Call and Aurum Pot, with the pacy Ferrie in touch and Captain Alfredo stalking them.
Into the run for home, they drifted to the outside rail, as Buckland continued to lead with Craig Zackey looking for gaps, as Kangaroo Jack launched from near last.
With Kangaroo Jack eating up the ground down the inside, there was some scrimmaging towards the outside with Grant van Niekerk cutting across as London Call hung on to Captain Alfredo, and Red Ray finding his path blocked.
With Fly By Night and Asstar finishing best, the bird had flown and Kangaroo Jack was gearing down at the line to score by a lengthening 3,75 lengths in a time of 69,78 secs.
Fly By Night made up plenty of ground in the final 200m to run a gutsy second, while Asstar appears to be relishing the KZN climate and ran another top-class race for third, after winning his opening start in the province.
After causing some minor havoc late in the race, the 3-1 Ferrie hung on for fourth.
The classy 5-2 favourite Red Ray appeared to check halfway down the straight and fell away to run over 8 lengths off the winner.
Winning jockey Craig Zackey, who had been briefed by the tactical master Andrew Fortune, had time to glance at the big screen a good few times in the final 200m.
He said that he was hardly surprised with the smooth win after his mount had put up ‘unbelievable work.’
“He really worked so well last week. My only concern was his draw. But the pace was on and like a true professional he had a breather on the bend and then turned it on in the straight.”
An elated Dean Alexander confirmed that Kangaroo Jack was getting stronger.
“We had to take our chances with one of these features on his merit rating. He is a really straightforward horse and we are excited about him.”
Kangaroo Jack has been a model of consistency and has now won 4 races with 3 places from his 8 starts – he took his earnings to R474 525. He is a tough character – proven by the fact that he won his previous start in an MR 80 Handicap carrying a massive 64,5kgs!
As mentioned, he is raced by Mrs Joyce Wallace and was bred by her late husband.
A second Gr2 winner for Maine Chance stallion Querari, Kangarooo Jack is out of the versatile five-time winning Model Man mare Rainbow Flag, who was bred by Swynford Paddocks (Pty) Ltd and also raced in the Joyce Wallace silks.
Gr2 Post Merchants (SAf-Gr2)
Greyville, South Africa, June 17, R400k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.09.78
1 – KANGAROO JACK (SAF), 54.0, b g 3, Querari (GER) – Rainbow Flag (SAF) by Model Man (SAF). Owner Mrs M J Wallace; Breeder RB Wallace; trainer GM Alexander; jockey C Zackey
2 – Fly By Night (SAF), 55.5, b m 6, Jet Master (SAF) – Fly The Wind (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)
3 – Asstar (SAF), 54.0, b c 4, Ashaawes (USA) – Stunning Star (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA)
Margins: 3.75, 0.10, 1.75