Gong winner locked in for The Ingham

The lucrative prizemoney purse for The Ingham has swayed connections of Detonator Jack to keep him in Sydney for the $2 million summer centrepiece.

A brilliant winner of The Gong at Kembla Grange last Saturday, Detonator Jack was being considered for a start for the $500,000 Ballarat Cup (2000m) as several of his owners live in the region.

However, managing owner Darren Dance of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock confirmed on Wednesday that the decision had been made to run Detonator Jack in The Ingham (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday week.

“The decision for his next run, whether to go to Ballarat for the Cup for half a million (dollars), or go to The Ingham for $2 million, it’s just a no contest,” Dance told RadioTAB Australia.

“New South Wales prizemoney is unbelievable, that’s why he’s up there.”

Detonator Jack has banked $580,000 for his victory in The Gong while the Ingham boasts a $1.155 million cheque to the winner.

It also carries a ballot exemption for the Doncaster Mile in the autumn, and Dance admits that is an added attraction and a possible option for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Detonator Jack should he win.

“Whoever wins that race I think it’s ballot free for the Doncaster,” Dance said.

“If that’s true, you’d be thinking about, do we roll the dice that way? We will sit down with Ciaron (Maher) after the Ingham and work out what’s best for the horse.”

Detonator Jack had filled the placings in three of his four starts prior to The Gong before responding to the addition of blinkers and a rain-affected track with a brilliant display.

His benchmark rating has risen six points as a result, and while that will equate to him landing higher in the handicaps for his next start, Dance believes the horse is genuine and will be hard to beat again.

He is a $4.50 favourite with online bookmakers for The Ingham in pre-nomination markets, ahead of Gong third placegetter Osipenko at $6.

Saturday’s Festival Stakes hopeful Rustic Steel and last start Group 1 placegetter Strait Acer also share the second line of betting at $6.

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