Sunday Territorian 5 Nov 2017
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
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SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5 2017 SPORT 65 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA trainer, jockey and horses in Central Australia on Tuesday and hopefully there is a big crowd at Pioneer Park. Surely, most of the patrons who venture to the Alice Springs meeting will be more interested in the action at Flemington compared to what is taking place out on the track. There might only be five horses in The Gemcave Melbourne Cup Luncheon Handicap (1100m) - the feature race in the Red Centre, but to be fair settling on a winner isnt easy. The bottom line is that Darwin should have been a stand alone in the NT on Tuesday. Its a normal work day in the NT on Tuesday, but just like Alice Springs there will be a healthy crowd at Fannie Bay. Unlike Pioneer Park, there will be a lot more interest in the action on the track as Darwin has pulled 50 horses and there are a number of decent races on the six-event program. An Alice Springs meeting on Derby Day and a Darwin meeting on Melbourne Cup Day makes plenty of sense and hopefully an element of common sense will prevail in the future. If you live in the NT and you love horse racing you want to see big fields and a lot of races each time theres a meeting in Alice Springs. There are also questions raised as to why there are only six races in the NT that exceed 1600m during the year and why two-year-olds dont feature in the Top End. There are two 1900m and 2000m races at Fannie Bay, as well as a 1900m and 2000m race at Pioneer Park. The 2000m races are the Darwin Cup, Alice Springs Cup and NT Derby. A leading NT racing official has confirmed that there are a lack of horses in this part of the world capable of running long distances on a regular basis. Most of the horses that head north are 1000m-1400m horses and the main reason why there are 1900m races in the Top End and Red Centre is to prepare horses for the Darwin and Alice Springs Cups. Two-year-olds continue to race in Alice Springs culminating with the Inglis Red Centre 2YO Classic (1200m) on Cup Day on the first Monday in May, but races for the youngsters in Darwin ceased in 2013 due to a lack of numbers. Interestingly, punters have never taken a shine to the twoyear-olds here in the NT. The NT is also not conducive to two-year-old racing, rather it is a tried horse market, with the weather and conditions hard on young horses. Critics argue that there are too many races over the shorter trips compared to the longer trips, no matter if theyre racing at Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide River, Tennant Creek or Katherine. Thats the way it goes, and if you are critical of racing in this part of the world then youre certainly hard to please. The Darwin and Alice Springs Cup Carnivals are truly spectacular, and Cup Day at Adelaide River, Tennant Creek and Katherine are simply wonderful occasions. Meanwhile, it seems certain that the 2016/17 Top End racing awards will take place with a ceremony following the last race at the Fannie Bay meeting scheduled for December 16. Finally, youre probably finding it difficult to settle on a winner two days out from the Melbourne Cup. Know how you feel, but as far as little black duck is concerned, Johannes Vermeer could be in the mix. Hard to find a winner in looming clash of Territory meetings LIKE every Australian, racegoers in the Northern Territory are once again looking forward to the Melbourne Cup the race that stops the nation. Theres the opportunity to have a bet on the race or take part in a sweep. And dont we hear the most extraordinary stories after the race. Melbourne Cup Day is also a big day for the Darwin Turf Club and Alice Springs Turf Club. Both clubs are hosting a meeting on Melbourne Cup Day and no doubt the crowds will flock to Fannie Bay and Pioneer Park accordingly. The DTC and ASTC have every right to stage a meeting on Tuesday as they have also organised various functions. Youve got to wonder why Darwin and Alice Springs are going head to head? Nothing against our friends in the Red Centre, but they should not be racing on Tues day. Theres only four races five were scheduled and there will more than likely be only 24 horses on deck. Nine horses have accepted for the opening race, but that is likely to be cut to seven due to a lack of jockeys. They also raced at Pioneer Park last Sunday and have another meeting scheduled for this coming Saturday. Melbourne Cup Day is the only time this year when two race clubs in the NT actually go head to head. By scheduling a meeting on Derby Day, the Alice Springs crew would have had more races, bigger fields and more importantly more jockeys. Good luck to every owner, MY TWO CENTS with DaviD White Shillelaghs top effort thrills Dee and Waller A TRIP to Sydney to ride in a Group 1 race for Lloyd Williams has paved the way for jockey Michael Dees second success at the highest level. Dee was legged aboard Shillelagh, one of six Chris Wallertrained runners in yesterdays Kennedy Mile at Flemington, giving the master trainer a quinella in the 1600m race. Waller remembered when Dee rode Foundry to victory in the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick in September. I saw him standing there before the race with hardly anyone around, which is a bit different for Team Williams, Waller said. I went up to him and said to him good luck so I remembered him from that day. I thought if hes good enough to ride for Lloyd Williams then hes good enough for me. Sent off a $13 chance, Shillelagh scored a short-neck victory over Tom Melbourne ($4.60) with Wyndspelle ($42) some 2 lengths away third. Waller said Shillelagh had fresh legs having had only two lead-up starts. A lot of these horses have had long campaigns and getting the positive feedback from Joao Moreira last time gave us some confidence to run her in one of these Group 1 races today, Waller said. Shell come back in the autumn as she likes good tracks. Shillelagh was being aimed at yesterdays Myer Classic but didnt gain a start. The result possibly cost runner-up Tom Melbourne a Group 1 victory. Dee said yesterdays victory was only his third ride for Waller. It feels great, I just cant believe it, Dee said. I was very lucky to pick up the ride for Mr Waller and the team. With only 52 (kilograms) on her back never once in the race did I think she was going to get beat. DAVID Paynes Australian dream has come true, with the former champion South African trainer realising his long-held ambition to win the Victoria Derby. Ace High, a horse Payne identified as a Derby player early in his career, delivered on the big stage at Flemington yesterday with a superior staying performance over 2500m. Payne arrived in Australia in 2002 to start a new life in Sydney and shortly after Payne nabs dream businessman John Cordina joined him as a supporter of the trainers stable. Last month they celebrated their first Group 1 win together when Ace High won the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney. But the Derby is a different level again. This is by far the best feeling Ive had, Cordina said. I was a bit worried in the run when he was three and four-wide but it was a great ride by Tye (Angland) and its just an amazing feeling. Payne and Angland were also worried when Ace High was posted wide down the back straight but Ace High, the $7 favourite in an open betting race, asserted himself in the straight to put two lengths on Sully ($7.50), with Astoria ($8) another half-neck third. The trainer had already indicated Ace High would be ridden differently from the Spring Champion (2000m) when he led from start to finish. Not usually does a plan come together but this has been planned for about six months and it all just fell into place, Payne said. Ive had runners in this race before including Criterion but this horse might be better than him you never know. I was a little bit worried when I saw him three and four deep but Ive always wanted to ride him back. He looks a better horse ridden quietly. Criterion went on to win the Australian Derby in Sydney the following autumn and was transferred to David Hayes, who prepared him to win the Caulfield Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Payne said Cordina, who was a partner with his cousin John Camilleri in the 2000 Australian Derby winner trained by Jack Denham, had been his most loyal client. When I came from South Africa, to get going was tough and he has been with me a long time, he said. Angland, 28, had to sacrifice being at his brothers wedding on Spring Champion Stakes day. They arent racing people so its hard for them to understand that at this time of year its difficult, Angland said. CARYL WILLIAMSON The David Payne-trained three-year-old colt Ace High, ridden by Tye Angland, takes out the $1.5 million Group 1 Victoria Derby at Flemington yesterday Picture: JAY TOWN
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