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Jack Denham trainer of Might And Power

Jack Denham: trainer of 59 Group 1 winners has died aged 85

  PICTURE: AAP Racing  

Aussie veteran Jack Denham dies aged 85

Australia: Veteran trainer Jack Denham, best known for the exploits of the champion Might And Power, has died in Sydney aged 85 after a career spanning60 years.

Denham was still active as a trainer and racegoer until he recently became ill and was admitted to hospital.

The trainer of around 4,000 winners altogether including 59 Group 1 successes, Denham is most famous for the feats of champion Might And Power.

The free-running gelding won the 1997 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and the following year claimed the Cox Plate.

Denham's son Allan is also a trainer at Sydney's Rosehill Racecourse.

Sydney Turf Club chief executive Michael Kenny said Denham's death was a loss to the club and the racing community as a whole.

"He was the STC's leading trainer and a stalwart in Sydney racing," Kenny said.

"It's a great loss to the industry."

A private funeral is expected to be held later this week.

Born in Campsie on August 24, 1924, Jack Denham had moderate success as a jockey before his increasing weight forced him out of the saddle in 1943.

He took out his training licence five years later and had his first win with Eloquent at Newcastle in 1949.

His first Group 1 success came six years later when Persian Link claimed the 1955 Doomben Cup.

Denham's career moved to another level when he became trainer for high-profile owner Stan Fox at Nebo Lodge, a position he held for 10 years, training more than 1,000 winners.

For six successive years between 1971 and 1976 Denham was runner-up to Tommy (TJ) Smith in the Sydney trainers' premiership.

Denham won the premiership later in 1990-91 and again in 1992-93.

From 1980 onwards Denham was closely associated with popular owners Geoff and Beryl White, winning a Golden Slipper for them with Marscay.

He also won the 1996 Epsom Handicap and 1997 Yalumba Stakes with Filante, and the 1991 Australian Guineas and AJC Australian Oaks with five-time Group 1 winner Triscay, both raced by the Whites.

But Denham's greatest triumphs came with the Nick Moraitis-owned champion Might And Power.

He scored a record-breaking win in the 1997 Caulfield Cup, thrashing his rivals by seven and a half lengths, setting the scene for a thrilling Melbourne Cup.

Many doubted whether Might And Power could lead all the way over the gruelling 2m Cup journey but regular rider Jim Cassidy didn't hesitate to take him to the front.

Might And Power kicked strongly in the straight but Doriemus surged in the last 50 metres, diving at his rival on the line.

Even jockey Greg Hall thought he had won but photo finish showed Might And Power had prevailed by a short half-head.

The win was justice for Denham who went within a half head of winning the Melbourne Cup nine years earlier with Natski who just failed to reel in giant New Zealand mare Empire Rose.

In 1998, Might And Power added the Cox Plate to his record to give Denham the honour of being one of a handful of trainers to have claimed racing's Grand Slam of theGolden Slipper, Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate.

In a career lasting 60 years, Denham trained around 4,000 winners. His most recent Group 1 scorer was Metal Bender who claimed the Randwick-Rosehill Guineas double in March.

Denham was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.



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