Jack Duncan is the epitome of a trainer who lets his horses do the talking.
And sometimes… they make a loud statement.
That was certainly the case when Seat Of Power won the Toowoomba Cup on Saturday with the proven son of Sea The Stars helping Duncan to victory in the Toowoomba Cup by knocking out Wapiti last year.
Winning two Toowoomba Cups in a row remains an exceptional training feat, although Chris Waller did it as recently as 2019 and 2020 with The Mayor and Alward, because before that you have to go all the way back to 2008 and 2009 when local trainer Rex Lipp took the double with Sir Sensible and Jussemi. (Incidentally, Lipp has a second double to his credit, winning with Gene’s Interest and Director’s Special in 1999 and 2000, respectively.)
This latest recognition of Duncan’s training abilities, which have always been widely recognised, is well deserved, especially as Duncan’s future looked in many ways uncertain on that fateful day at Doomben in late July 2021 when Duncan suffered a heart attack and collapsed in his tie. standing on the track and paramedics had to work hard to revive him.
The gloomy mood at the track lifted slightly… but only slightly… when it was learned that Duncan had been revived and taken to the hospital, and thankfully the episode had a happy ending with Duncan on the road to recovery after surgery. .
“It doesn’t make me stop training horses or anything like that, I just want to keep doing it,” Duncan said in recovery. “Nothing has changed, the show goes on.
And indeed it is… and just two months after the heart attack, Duncan saddled his first Toowoomba Cup winner when Wapiti beat Honorable Spirit by less than half a length.
Duncan now has two Toowoomba Cup wins to his name … in back-to-back years … and will therefore be in line to make it a hat-trick of race wins next year, a feat previously unseen in complete official race records. which date back to 1971.
It was clearly a special win for Duncan, whose generally quiet demeanor means he rarely has a huge smile on his face… but he did have one on Saturday.
So were you sure of the result?
“I thought it would be good to come back and have another crack after Wapiti last year,” Duncan said in his usual understated manner.
“I take things as they come but for a while I had the race selected for the Seat Of Power.
“The horse did well. His last win (on his previous start at Doomben) was good. I was just a little bit worried about him coming downhill (referring to the descent leaving the home straight for the first time), but once I saw him going downhill I thought he was going to be hard to beat.”
Too hard in fact, although in the end Seat Of Power greeted by only the narrowest of margins from Aussie Nugget, but when the referee posted the numbers to confirm the result it was a job well done by the game, a very well prepared Seat Of Power who got home under a peach of a ride from jockey Jimmy Orman to put a smile on Jack Duncan’s face.
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