By Isaac Murphy
Chairman Jack knocked up a distant sixth in his first visit to the Ipswich track eight months ago, but that’s a long time in racing. Trainer Peter McBlane brought a new race hardened dog to his Ipswich Derby Heat which he impressively won in the fastest qualifying time for this week’s final.
“His one and only start at Ipswich before last week was in The Vince Curry Series where he ran the fastest first section and hit the running rail, and ended up knocking home in 32.18,” McBlane said.
“He’s come a long way since then and we knew if he could get his first section right, he wouldn’t be making the same mistake twice. We were very happy with the win as well at the $15 on offer.”
“I think being back at Ipswich really piqued his interest, he was inquisitive and knew he’d been there before and with his maturation channelled that into a nice heat win.”
McBlane said there isn’t a dog in Saturday’s final that is beyond Chairman Jack, but would be relying on another quick getaway to give himself a realistic chance.
“I think whoever can lead around that first corner is going to be hard to beat, you’ve got a lot of them with very similar first sectionals. I’m just hoping he can get out well from the three and down to the rail first,” McBlane said.
“If he gets in front, they won’t catch him. Shakey Diesel who is a strong dog drew within about a length of him before he kicked clear to win by a few in his heat. If he leads, he wins.”
Chairman Jack has come a long way since his first up mishap earlier this year. Thanks a lot to McBlane’s training efforts which continue to teach the dog new tricks.
“I’ve learnt a lot about him in the last eight months and while the 520 is going to be his pet distance, you’ve got to mix it up with him to keep him on his toes,” he said.
“We don’t trial between races and in my opinion the dogs can get a bit stale over just one distance, he’s gone back to as short as the 331 and run well.”
Chairman Jack has only finished out of the placings seven times from his thirty-four starts and while McBlane is looking to turn those placings into wins, it was a quick second over the 395 that convinced him he was ready for a big campaign.
“He ran 22.51 a few weeks ago over the 395 at Albion and was beaten a nose by John Dart’s dog Alonso Mornay, it was by far his quickest time from the corner start and encouraged me to take him to the Million Dollar Chase Heats at Lismore,” he said.
“It’s a big six months we’ve got in front of us starting with the Ipswich Derby, the Young Guns at Albion Park, The Ipswich Cup, before the Albion Park Derby in early December.”
“I think The Derby at headquarters is probably the race I’m most excited about. He was in the Derby earlier this year and was spotting dogs six months age difference, but he slips in by five days this time round, he’s the mature one.”
McBlane trains a small team out of the North Brisbane suburb of Taigum and along with fellow Taigum trainer Angela Brown, ‘Team Taigum’ have continued to expand their operation.
“Team Taigum have been travelling as strong as ever. We won three races one Wednesday meet recently, a maiden with Audible Warning, a novice with Mungo Barry and a fifth grade with Chairman Jack all out of the same bloodlines.”
“It was a bit of a watershed moment for us that we were heading in the right direction, but I think Jack winning the Derby might trump that.”