Rich Jack brings Carole Heffernan biggest thrill of training career   Leave a comment

Rich Jack brings Carole Heffernan biggest thrill of training career

Her neighbour up at Yarra Glen, Greg Kavanagh, fluked across a good horse called Delzao about a decade ago. The horse won a Feehan Stakes, almost beat Lonhro in an Australian Cup and won more than $1 million.

Jack a Rich reward for lifelong effort

Carole Heffernan with Rich Jack at Greenways Stud, Yering. Picture: Stuart Walmsley Source: News Limited

CAROLE Heffernan does not expect her adventure with Rich Jack to be much more than a snapshot moment in her life.

She’d trained for 22 years and never had one within cooee of the ability of Rich Jack and she is pretty sure she will never have one as good either.

“They are extremely hard to find and harder to find the next one,’’ 60-year-old Heffernan said.

“Greg barely got a maiden winner after Delzao.’’

If the good horse ever does arrive, it’s almost always by chance, not planning.

Rich Jack was first trained by Greg Eurell, who won three races with him.

But “Jack’’ had a few issues, more mental than physical, and was owned by a bloke who’d also raced a few with Heffernan and happened to live close by.

Heffernan’s small property offered serenity, which is what Jack needed, and proximity.

“That’s how I got him. David McIntosh has been a great owner for me over many years and as much as anything else he wanted the horse close enough so he could come visit him. He lived about 10 minutes away,’’ Heffernan said.

Heffernan is relishing her snapshot. “I’ve never been so excited in my life,’’ she said.

Carole Heffernan with Rich Jack at Greenways Stud, Yering. Picture: Stuart Walmsley

Carole Heffernan with Rich Jack at Greenways Stud, Yering. Picture: Stuart Walmsley Source: News Limited

The horse may be a fluke but there is precision in his handling. Heffernan never expected this chance but she’s not going to waste it.

Rich Jack used to bolt on the track, so Heffernan keeps his mind at peace. He canters around the dressage ring, spends most of his time in a paddock. At the Cranbourne track, an hour from Heffernan’s place, the horse waits until the horse traffic has eased.

“I do absolutely everything with him bar ride him. My girls do that,’’ she said.

Heffernan’s daughters Paige and Paula, both “horsey’’ girls from a young age like their mum, are a big part of Jack’s story.

Heffernan easily remembers the day she gained her trainers licence because it was the day she was hit by a truck, while pregnant with Paige, who is now 22.

Heffernan started training horses because her legendary father, former VATC and MRC committeemen and colourful owner Kevin Heffernan, suggested she should.

“I’d ridden all my life and dad said “you put in all the time with these horses, why don’t you train one, see if a good one comes along?’’ she said.

Carole Heffernan with Rich Jack at Greenways Stud, Yering. Picture: Stuart Walmsley

Carole Heffernan with Rich Jack at Greenways Stud, Yering. Picture: Stuart Walmsley Source: News Limited

Kevin Heffernan died in 2012. Carole loved her dad like only a daughter can and believes he’s still there, keeping an eye on her.

She dreams that this snapshot will last as long as September, when she hopes Rich Jack will be good enough to run in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes.

“To get to Dad’s race … well I’d love to get there,’’ she said, adding Jack’s jockey Darren Gauci used to ride for her dad.

In the meantime there is Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield.

Rich Jack is fast, but so is Lord Of The Sky. Both are by Danerich, who seems to inject a little unbridled craziness into his stock. Lord Of The Sky is favourite, Rich Jack an $11 chance.

Heffernan says she fears “having a war‘’ with Lord Of The Sky because “they might both end up running last.’’

But she is excited to be fearful, excited to have one good enough to be fearful about.

“Winning at Caulfield, dad’s track, three weeks ago was my biggest thrill. This is so much harder but he’s a good horse. If he has the luck he can weigh in,’’ she said.

In a nervous whisper she adds: “Maybe he could even win it…’’

Originally published as Jack a Rich reward for lifelong effort

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Posted July 25, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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