It is a case of mission accomplished for the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Jungle Magnate, with the smart three-year-old stayer scoring a strong win in Saturday’s Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.
The three-year-old Classic had been the target race for the son of Tarzino this campaign and the Cranbourne trainers placed the gelding to perfection this time in, winning three of his four starts including the Gr.3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) at the same venue a fortnight ago.
The victory was immensely satisfying for Price, who prepared his sire Tarzino to win both the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) and Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and fittingly Jungle Magnate provided the young Westbury Stud stallion with his first elite level success.
As he did two weeks ago, Jungle Magnate settled near the rear of the field and relished the strong tempo to outstay his rivals.
Ridden by Mark Zahra, Jungle Magnate ($7.50) scored by 1-¾ lengths from Yaphet ($10) with Detonator Jack ($3.50) a further three-quarters-of-a-length away third.
"We paid $60,000 for Tarzino and put some really good people into him," Price told racing.com.
"That stallion is doing a good job and we've got a few of them that we think go well and this time next year I reckon we'll have another big, strong Tarzino back here for the Derby.
Jungle Magnate ran in the Victoria Derby last year, finishing tenth to Hitotsu, but Price conceded he had messed up the gelding's preparation.
After a debut 1400m win at Sandown, Price had Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) aspirations for the three-year-old.
"But in his first-up run after a spell, he went too slow," Price said.
"I thought 'what are we going to do now', so I had to change him around mid-prep which cost him.
"When he ran in the Victoria Derby, he'd had enough, he was on the way down, but we had it pegged right this time.
"He had a good spell, a good prep and a big circle around this race as his peak point."
After two return trips to Adelaide, Price would now prefer to spell Jungle Magnate for a spring preparation rather than head north for a tilt at the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks.
"I never want to go too far with my horses," Price said.
"I would want to put him out is my first thought. He doesn't have to get on a plane and fly to Queensland.
"He's done a good job and I'd like to see him in the paddock."
Price went to $75,000 to secure Jungle Magnate out of Westbury Stud’s 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft at Karaka.
The young staying star is out of the Casino Prince mare The Love Of Money, whom Price also trained for Gerry Harvey. The mare has a trio of Brazilian Group One winners in her immediate pedigree.
Jungle Magnate has now won four of his nine starts, and was twice stakes-placed in the spring, having finished runner-up in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) and third in the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) before returning a stronger horse in the autumn to claim successive Group victories.
Tarzino will stand for a fee of $15,000 plus GST in the 2022 breeding season, with Gypsy Goddess poised to double the young stallion’s Group One tally, given she is favourite for next week’s Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m).