IT was action aplenty at the Darwin Turf Club on Wednesday 26 January for Australia Day at the Bay.
Blue Odyssey, Barry Huppatz and Gary Clarke have combined to upset more fancied rivals to score a tough win in the $40,000 Silks Darwin Lightening Wet Season Series Final at Fannie Bay.
Stablemate Mr Cashman applied plenty of pressure to Blue Odyssey in the run and early in the home straight, but the son of Charge Forward proved too strong, holding him at bay by three-quarters of a length, with Pembroke castle a close-up third after looking the likely winner at the 200m mark.
Nine-time champion trainer Clarke had Blue Odyssey primed for a first-up Top End assault, having had his last start at Ipswich in late October where he finished 8 lengths off the winner.
Earlier in the day, Kick It Baby took out the Sitzler Maiden for trainer Phil Cole and jockey Casey Hunter, who bookend the card aboard Skellig Island for Gary Clarke. In one of the most exciting wins of the day, Kick It Baby come from 8 lengths off the lead at the turn, exhibiting a blistering turn of foot to overhaul the Gary Lefoe-trained Expert Witness by half a length. It was the first win from 14 starts for the daughter of Seamus Award, after having run 4 seconds previously.
The Emma Steel-trained Overruled took out race 2, the 1000m Sportsman’s Lunch 18th February Handicap, with Adam Nicholls in the saddle steering his mount to victory over Tayarn Halter’s Don’t Wait and Phil Cole’s Familja. The skilled Nicholls and fellow DTC staffer Ben Whitlock, earlier came to the rescue to fix a broken draw bar on the barrier stalls before the six race card could get under way.
In the Ladbrokes Summer Sprint Series Handicap (1300m), the 2021 Darwin Guineas winner Trident bought up career win number 5 for trainer Mark Nyhan and jockey ‘Super’ Sonja Wiseman. The four-year-old was patently ridden and hugged the rail down the home straight to win by more then two lengths from Syncline and Kent Street.
Wiseman was at it again in the Darwin Cup Carnival tickets on Sale Handicap (1200m), guiding Alice Springs visitor Mighty Murt to a cosy win over Against The Tide and pacemaker Light and Dark. Trained by Lisa Whittle, the flashy grey Mighty Murt was given a gun ride by Wiseman – one out and one back – before making his move around the home turn to win by a long neck.