Alice Springs Cup, Pioneer Sprint weights released

Terry Gillett
Trainer Terry Gillett (right) and jockey Stan Tsaikos with Alice Springs Turf Club chairman Andrew Maloney following the win by Supreme Attraction in the 2023 $100,000 Pioneer Sprint (1200m). Picture: Nikki Westover Photography

The 2024 Alice Springs Turf Club’s Cup Carnival reaches a climax this weekend at Pioneer Park with the running of the two feature races.

It’s the $100,000 Pioneer Sprint (1200m) on Saturday followed by the $110,000 Alice Springs Cup (2000m) on Sunday.

The Terry Gillett trained Supreme Attraction, last year’s winner of the Pioneer Sprint, tops the weights with 61.5kg in the Red Centre’s biggest race for the speedsters from stablemate Great Buy (61kg) and Gary Clarke’s Early Crow (58.5kg).

Early Crow, formerly trained by Dick Leech, currently serving a 12-month suspension, won last year’s $135,000 Palmerston Sprint (1200m) during the Darwin Cup Carnival.

Meanwhile, last year’s Alice Springs and Darwin Cup winner Write Your Name, also trained by Clarke, tops the weights with 61kg in Central Australia’s biggest race of the year.

Write Your Name, named Horse of the Year for 2023 in Alice Springs and Darwin, was also formerly trained by Leech.

Shiny Rock from the Murray Bridge stable of Garret Lynch, who has yet to race at Pioneer Park, is next with 59kg, followed by Lake’s Folly (56.5kg), fourth in last year’s Cup, from the Michael Hickmott’s South Australian stable.

Apart from Lake’s Folly, Hickmott – now based at Wellington, 36km south of Murray Bridge, is set to start Exalted Fire (56kg) and Oath Of Omerta (54kg), the winner of the Onkaparinga Cup (2150m) at Oakbank on March 30, feature at Pioneer Park Sunday.

The Carol Hunter-trained seven-year-old mare Desert Lass (55.5kg), second in the 2023 Alice Springs Cup behind Write Your Name, currently sits third on the ballot for this year’s Cup.

Acceptances for the Pioneer Sprint and Alice Springs Cup will be declared on Wednesday and Thursday morning, respectively, with both races accommodating a field of 12.

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