Port Adelaide is prospering – on the footy field and the race track.
In addition to thumping the Adelaide Crows in the latest Showdown and keeping a perfect start to the season intact against Fremantle on Sunday, Power coach Ken Hinkley and a group of players had dual reason to celebrate, after the club’s familiar colours were prominent at Moonee Valley recently.
Power Boom ran a creditable third – at $21 – in a three-year-old fillies race, thrilling its owners, which include Hinkley and Port players Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop, Scott Lycett and Jack Watts, plus former Power player and current Sydney Swan, Sam Gray.
Race-day jockey Damien Thornton was resplendent in a black, white and teal Port Adelaide home guernsey, leaving no doubt about the horse’s ownership background.
Colac-based trainer Glenn Thornton – father of Damien – said Hinkley was the key figure in creating the Power connection.
“When I purchased her, Kenny said he would mention it to the other guys,” he said.
“They all seemed really keen, hence they all took a share and this is where we’re at.”
Power Boom’s placing in metropolitan company was the best result yet among her six career starts, which have included wins at Seymour and Pakenham. Thornton said the Power contingent was pumped about the horse’s most recent run.
“The boys were very excited, Kenny said, and they’ve got a bit to look forward to, because she’s only lightly raced and there’s a fair bit of upside to her,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to Tom (Rockliff) a couple of times on the phone about her, but they get regular updates and emails, and through Kenny we keep in touch.
“A few of the boys (at Port Adelaide) have horses with other people, but I think this group has bragging rights in the club at the moment.
“It’s a great outlet from football for them. It gives them an interest as a group; they can have a laugh and a joke.”
Thornton said Power Boom’s name and its distinctive jockey silks have attracted attention.
“The colours look great,” he said.
“Even the commentators over here are all privy to it, and they all have a comment to say about how the boys are involved.
“The name brings a bit more to it – there’s a real Port Adelaide feel.”
Despite Power Boom’s strong showing at Moonee Valley, Thornton feels she will be better suited to dry tracks, and says once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the Power cohort could see the filly in the flesh.
“Without a doubt she could go to Adelaide,” he said.
“She would be the perfect horse to take over there, when the time’s right. She’s a Magic Millions horse, so if there’s a Magic Millions race for her there next year, around carnival time, that’s something we’d look at.
“But there’s no reason why she wouldn’t go over earlier if the COVID restrictions were eased.”
Thornton said Power Boom’s next start could be at Caulfield this weekend, dependent on track conditions.
“The wet tracks are a bit of a concern,” he said. “She got through it (at Moonee Valley), but it would be ideal if we could find a little bit firmer surface.
“How many runs we have this time will depend on the weather.”