|Alice Springs Races
|Pioneer Park Racecourse – Stuart Hwy, Connellan NT 0870
|Saturday, February 18, 2023
There might be just five races on Saturday at Pioneer Park, but with the Alice Springs Cup Carnival imminent a number of quality horses will be on deck which will make it tough going for punters.
Up to 42 runners have accepted with the feature race, a $23,100 open handicap over 1000m, attracting 10 capable sprinters of note, including the unbeaten Dakota Lee after a 10-month absence. Flying Start, the Red Centre’s reigning Horse of the Year, will be stepping out as well against decent opposition over 1400m (BM76).
It hasn’t rained in the Alice since February 5 (0.4mm) and there is zero chance of rain on Friday and Saturday. It will be sunny, but come race day windy conditions are expected with a top of 37C. A fast dirt surface at Pioneer Park will be the order of the day with the rail in the true position.
Best Bet at Alice Springs: Flying Start
The reigning Alice Springs Horse of the Year, Flying Start, failed to run down the irresistible Roughly over 1100m in open company on January 28. He was backing up after a first up fourth behind Supreme Times over 1200m in open company on December 18 after a 19 week hiatus. The four-year-old gelding hadn’t raced since making it back to back wins during the Darwin Cup Carnival, which included victory in the $40,000 feature for the three-year-olds over 1200m (BM68). The son of Flying Artie, who won the NT Guineas (1600m) by eight lengths during the Alice Springs Cup Carnival last April, steps up to the 1400m on Saturday and he will no doubt be a lot fitter on this occasion. Flying Start, arguably one of the best horses in the NT last year, should have too much class if he brings his best to the table.
Race 5 –
4yo Gelding | T: Greg Connor | J: Jessie Philpot (58.5kg)
Next Best at Alice Springs: Freedom Day
Freedom Day debuted in the Red Centre on January 28 over 1100m (BM54) and chewed up plenty of petrol jumping from gate nine before settling midfield. The four-year-old mare showed spirit in the home straight before finishing fourth. Tried to keep up with the impressive Unpredicted last Saturday over 1100m (BM54) and once again caught the eye when she took it right up to Ray Viney’s speedster, who clearly has talent, before claiming second place after falling 0.8 lengths adrift. The daughter of Free Eagle had 13 starts in SA for just one win – achieved in an 1100m maiden at Gawler last October – but she managed to finish among the placegetters on six occasions. Freedom Day will be a lot fitter and with a 3kg claim is a major threat if she can back up from where she left off last weekend.
Race 2 –
4yo Mare | T: Lisa Whittle | J: Jade Hampson (a3) (58.5kg)
Best Value at Alice Springs: Cyclonite
Cyclonite has raced in Alice Springs since June 2019, but hasn’t put a foot wrong in three starts since the start of the year. The seven-year-old gelding, who has a record of 61: 12-9-9, debuted at Randwick in October 2017 and has been a model of consistency since arriving in the NT. At Pioneer Park, the son of Charge Forward’s record stands at 40: 9-7-9 and he managed two seconds and a fourth in three starts in Darwin in late 2021. After coming third behind the classy Kerioth over 1100m (0-70) on January 21, Cyclonite wasn’t far away a week later when third behind Roughly over 1100m in open company before he looked set to get the cash over 1200m (0-70) last Saturday before Bench Press nailed him right on the line. Cyclonite does meet serious opposition, but drops 5kg in weight.
Race 3 –
7yo Gelding | T: Lisa Whittle | J: Casey Hunter (55kg)
Saturday quaddie tips for Alice Springs
Alice Springs quadrella selections
Saturday, February 18, 2023
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