Kiwi import Lightning Jack made an immediate impression when winning the Catanach’s Handicap (1600m) at Randwick in his first start for trainer Annabel Neasham, 12 days after arriving in Sydney.
A dual stakes winner in New Zealand for Riverton trainers Kelvin and Aimee Tyler, the five-year-old son of Per Incanto was sent across the Tasman in a bid to bank some lucrative prizemoney.
Raced by Allan and Marie Tyler, Lightning Jack was sent out a $21 outsider and the gelding travelled sweetly throughout under three-kilo claiming apprentice Tyler Schiller, whose claim helped reduce Lightning Jack’s 61kgs allotted top-weight.
The hardy Kiwi showed he was more than up to the grade, scoring comfortably in the Benchmark 88.
“I can’t take much credit for that win, I can just give credit to the Tyler family,” Neasham said.
“He’s been trained by them down in the South Island. He was just lumping top weights down there so they decided to send him over here.
“We were initially going to go to the Villiers (A$750,000 Gr.2 1600m), and I’m half wondering if we should have now. Everyone is happy when you are a winner and I’m just grateful that they sent him over, they wanted to chase the excellent prizemoney here.
“I met Allan a couple of years ago at Karaka and he called me up out of the blue and said I’ve got a horse I’d like you to train. He is by Per Incanto and I’m a big Per Incanto fan as well.
“I’m just very grateful and it was a little bit of surprise because we weren’t sure how he would stack up in Sydney but he has got an excellent record, he always runs a tough honest race and I think they are going to have a lot of fun with him.”
Lightning Jack won both the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) and Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) before placing in the Gr.3 Wellington Guineas (1400m) as a three-year-old.
He finished runner-up in the Listed Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton in April, and the Tylers thought it was a good time to test the waters in Sydney following his seventh placing in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) last month.
Winning jockey Tyler Schiller was suitably impressed.
“He seems a bit raw in his action but he quickened through the line really strongly and coming around the bend it always felt like he was going to run on,” he said.
“He just gave me a good feel. Anabelle didn’t know what to expect with him, she said just sit him midfield with cover and he just kept tracking up and hit the line really strongly.”
Bred by Gloria Kenny and the estate of the late Jack Georgetti, Lightning Jack is out of Savabeel mare La Petite, a daughter of Gr.1 Avondale Cup (2200m) winner Creil.
He was purchased for just $8,000 as a yearling at the Karaka May Sale from Kenny’s draft.