Alice Lindsay celebrates victory on her return to Fannie Bay

Alice Lindsay heading to the barriers aboard the Ella Clarke-trained Pop Magic at Fannie Bay on Saturday before the four-year-old gelding went on to win its second race in Darwin. Picture: Caroline Camilleri (Darwin Photography Professionals)

It has been a long time between drinks, but jockey Alice Lindsay has returned to the winner’s circle in Darwin.

The 29-year-old, back in the NT after a stint in her home state of South Australia, booted former NSW four-year-old gelding Pop Magic home for trainer Ella Clarke over 1100m (BM54) on Saturday.

Jumping from the inside gate, Pop Magic ($26) led from start to finish to make it two wins from six starts in the Top End after having four starts for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees where his best effort was a third in a 1300m Scone maiden.

The always smiling Lindsay was certainly grinning from ear to ear in what was her first win at Fannie Bay after posting four wins for Gary Clarke on Day 1 of the 2021 Darwin Cup Carnival (July 3).

It took just six rides for Lindsay to get back into the groove in the tropics and it was in fact her first win since saluting on Kayseri for Adelaide trainer Paul Trenwith at Strathalbyn on December 28.

Having grown up in Ashton in the Adelaide Hills, Lindsay, who started her apprenticeship in November 2017, decided to relocate to the NT for 12 months after limited opportunities in SA.

Arriving north in July 2020, she rode her first winner at Fannie Bay on Darwin Cup Day on the first Monday in August on Art Of More for local trainer Phil Cole.

After originally working for Cole, Lindsay also had the opportunity to ride for Gary Clarke – the 10-time Top End and Country premiership winning trainer.

Lindsay was flying before suffering serious injuries in a fall on Day 6 of the 2021 Darwin Cup Carnival (July 28) which would keep her sidelined for the next seven months.

She was dislodged from her mount Jomera, who sadly died, in an incident that also claimed fellow jockeys Sonja Wiseman (Supreme Times) and Wayne Davis (Somervell).

Lindsay injured her back and hand, and suffered a broken nose, as well as lacerations and bruising – Wiseman and Davis didn’t escape unscathed either.

Avoiding surgery, she returned to SA to recover after being fitted with a brace to support her back.

She resumed riding in February last year and appeared regularly throughout SA before recently accepting an invitation from Gary Clarke to return to Darwin.

Lindsay’s last appearance in SA was at Gawler on January 7 before stepping out at Fannie Bay on May 6 after ankle surgery in January and a nose operation in February.

Following that nasty fall in 2021, Lindsay appeared at five race meetings in Darwin from July-September last year.

Victory on Saturday also marked Lindsay’s first win as a senior rider after finally completing her apprenticeship following that Gawler meeting in January.

For Pop Magic, it was his first success in open company after winning an 1100m maiden last June year and on Saturday he proved too good after finishing eighth over 1100m (0-58) on Anzac Day after a nine-month spell.

The son of Wandjina, who proved a popular winner, outclassed Tayarn Halter’s $4.80 betting site hope Hattan Man (Jade Hampson) and John Peacock’s $3.40 favourite Super Famous (Casey Hunter), who starred in the Top End last year.

Veteran NT jockey Paul Denton, a former Darwin resident, is based in Alice Springs these days and he also grabbed the headlines with a winning double on the six-event card.

Happy to sit behind Gary Clarke’s Mr Cashman (Lindsay) in second place aboard stablemate Siakam ($3.50 eq fav) in the open 1300m handicap, Denton made his move turning for home and with 200m to go the in-form five-year-old gelding went on to make it five wins from his past 10 starts.

The son of Akeed Mofeed, winner of the $40,000 St Patrick’s Day Cup (1600m) at 0-76 level in March with Denton as the pilot, prevailed by two lengths from stablemate Great Diviner (Hampson), the other equal favourite, with Cole’s $5 chance Smuggling (Ianish Luximon), seventh in the Pioneer Sprint (1200m) in Alice Springs on April 30, third.

Denton went straight to the lead on Kerry Petrick’s five-year-old mare Magnolia Rose ($4.60) against 0-70 opposition over 1600m in her Darwin debut before going overcoming Ella Clarke’s $4.60 fancy Ironedge (Jarrod Todd) by a length with Cole’s $4.60 prospect Bartolini (Davis) third.

After impressing during the Alice Springs Cup Carnival, which included an all-the-way win over 1600m (0-66), the daughter of Kermadec only arrived in town on Thursday and overwhelmed Ironedge, who had every chance after shadowing the winner the entire trip.

Patria ($4.80), Gary Clarke’s eight-year-old gelding, made it nine wins from 52 starts at Fannie Bay and two wins from his past three starts when he sealed victory over Tom Logan’s $2.30 favourite Zip Lane (Wiseman) and Halter’s $4 hopeful Don’t Wait (Hampson) over 1200m (0-64).

Patria (Todd) sat three wide after sharing the early lead with Don’t Wait and Peter Stennett’s $4.60 runner Kent Street (Paul Shiers) before settling third, but once turning for home the son of Exceed And Excel – winner of two races in Alice Springs in 2018 – swooped on the leaders with 200m to go as Zip Lane finished strongly along the rails.

The two fancied picks Fraction Late ($1.55 fav) and Barragunda ($2.40) started well over 1200m (Class 2) before Petrick’s Principal Belle (Denton) and Chris Pollard’s Stars The Limit (Hunter) decided to run the show out in front once exiting the back straight.

David Bates’ Fraction Late (Hampson), second over 1100m (0-58) as a $1.50 favourite on Anzac Day, and Logan’s Barragunda (Wiseman), pipped by a nose over 1100m (0-64) on May 6, made their moves at the 500m approaching the home turn, but Barragunda seemingly lost momentum when blocked for a run.

In the straight and with 300m to go Fraction Late (54.5kg) on the outside and Barragunda (60kg), who finally found clear air, gobbled up the leaders with Sooboog’s four-year-old gelding getting home by 0.18 lengths, with Halter’s $14 starter Tyquendo (Shiers), a debut Darwin winner in an 1100m maiden on May 6, 2.5 lengths adrift in third place.

Halter and Shiers did taste success when four-year-old gelding Raffalli ($2.60) finally won at the eighth attempt in the Top End – albeit by the narrowest of margins – after basically leading from start to finish over 1200m (0-58).

The former Queensland galloper, who had been placed four times in Darwin after winning in Broome and Kununurra, had Pollard’s Dream Weaver (Hunter) for company, but down the side and with 500m to go Cole’s $2.50 favourite Afternoon Tea (Davis) and Alice Springs visitor Sweet As Scandi (Luximon) joined the party and it was a four way go out in front.

With 350m to go, Raffalli kicked once turning for home as Logan’s $8 candidate Tuffnut (Todd), who was last in the seven horse field before winding up approaching the final bend, rocketed home with 200m to go.

It appeared as though Raffalli would hang on before the son of Choisir escaped with the win from the fast-finishing Tuffnut and Dream Weaver ($21), who found its second wind, with 0.2 lengths separating the trio across the line.

20/5/23 Darwin Race 4 Replay – Pop Magic (1st)

More horse racing news

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments