By Jordan Gerrans via Racing Queensland – Original article:

Deagon’s Jack Bruce is the face of the next generation of trainers in the Sunshine State.

Just 32 years of age, the well-credentialed Bruce has learnt under some of the biggest names in the game – including Chris Waller and Ciaron Maher – as he now aims to use Brisbane’s north to launch his own training venture.

The graduate of the prestigious Godolphin Flying Start program, Bruce ticked off a key milestone earlier this month, landing his maiden victory as a trainer.

The triumph came at a mid-week Beaudesert meeting and not long after, he is chasing black-type action with French import Barade in the Caloundra Cup this Saturday afternoon.

Before he gets to the Sunshine Coast this weekend, setting up his barn at Deagon was a priority, with a growing team of 16 gallopers in work.

He hopes to expand that number to 30 in the future, preparing a mix of young and tried horses around South East Queensland, as well as yearlings who are coming through the ranks.

Bruce appreciates being based at the “off-Broadway” facility compared to Eagle Farm or Doomben.

“It is good, I am from rural New Zealand so for me Deagon is basically metropolitan racing,” he said with a laugh.

“It is a lovely and quiet place, there is about 120 horses trained here every day.

“It has a completely different vibe to the Warwick Farm’s, Rosehill’s and Randwick’s that I am used to, but it is a lovely spot in that respect.

“I feel the horses have done well since they have been here, they are relaxed and really happy, the ones that I have brought here.

“It is a great training centre and at times you have free reign of all the facilities when there is not many horses around.”

The emerging trainer like the relaxed nature of the Deagon track, also noting it is only a short drive to the Sandgate beach to keep his horses fresh.

After working under the guidance of leading trainers such as Waller, Maher and Bjorn Baker, the Kiwi native realised Queensland was where he wanted to launch his own operation.

Bruce worked closely with Maher’s Coolangatta in the lead-up to the 2022 Magic Millions carnival and become accustomed to the swing of things north of the border.

“I think there is an opportunity in Brisbane as prize money is increasing all the time, they have put a lot of time, energy, money and effort into promoting the carnival,” Bruce said.

“That is both the Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland, I felt there was a window for someone of my age to set up here and get my foot in the door for what I see as being in five to ten years being a really vibrate racing jurisdiction.”

Baker especially was a key influence on Bruce – he says – with the pair still speaking almost every day, with Bruce referring to him as a close mentor.

It was a gelding named Head Up High that got the monkey off Bruce’s back at his fourth official start as a trainer, the six-year-old scoring by almost a length in a staying contest at Beaudesert.

He believes a race like the Lismore Cup is a viable option for the son of Pierro.

“I have been bouncing out of bed since,” Bruce said of his maiden victory.

“He is a nice horse and he is a stayer, that is about his level.

“Hopefully, he can win a race in town on a Wednesday.

“I have had good support from people and it is great to repay them with a winner.”

Stable mate Barade will have his second run for the team this Saturday at Caloundra after finishing three lengths behind Bartholomeu Dias at Eagle Farm earlier this month in a solid effort.

The former Victorian stayer has improved the longer he has settled in at Deagon and Bruce thinks the big Sunshine Coast track will suit him, noting some of his better runs earlier in his career were at the spacious Flemington circuit.

Barade is dual-nominated for Saturday, the rookie trainer keen for a throw at the stumps in the Listed Cup, while also considering the Benchmark 80 Handicap over 1800 metres, instead.

“It was a great run first-up for the stable, he is a horse that was not jumping down in Melbourne and he still has a few party tricks up here now,” he said.

“He is a happy horse, Archie Alexander sent him up in good order and the owners want to see him finish out his racing days here in Queensland.

“He is a handy horse in staying races.

“He is nominated for the Caloundra Cup – which is a race that might be a little bit above him – but in saying that, you have got to be in it to win it.

“If I do decide to not run in the Cup, he is also in an 1800 metre race that day that he can go in.”

Bruce has also picked up the former Michael Costa-trained Axe following the Gold Coast trainers overseas move.

Placed at Listed level, Bruce purchased Axe and has big plans for him over the next year.