by Nathaniel Chambers
Courtesy of NT News
It was an emotional finish to a thrilling day’s racing with a long-time jockey finally winning the $200,000 Darwin Cup to complete a 2023 Territory cups double for a veteran trainer.
The Dick Leech-trained Write Your Name looked unbeatable as it burst out of the pack in the home straight with jockey Paul Shiers aboard.
The eight-year-old, who won the Alice Springs Cup this year, was absolutely bolting away as he hit the line to beat Heather Lehmann’s Sanblas by 3 1/2 lengths.
The champion duo of Gary Clarke and Jarrod Todd, who won the big race in 2022, were also in the mix with Wolfburn placing third.
But the triumph belonged to Write Your Name who had navigated out of an awkward early position to time his run to perfection late in the race.
Meanwhile, early favourite and Chief Minister’s Cup winner Noir De Rue, trained by Jason Manning, fell away to finish ninth.
There are few jockeys who can say they know the Darwin racetrack better than Shiers, but the Darwin Cup was one race that had eluded him.
At 50-years-old it was finally his time to salute the full house at the Darwin Turf Club as a winner. “It’s a relief more than anything, Ive won everything else in the Territoryso it;s nice to tick that one off” he said.
Read full article on NT News website here Page 39.