|Where||Darwin Turf Club – Buntine Dr, Fannie Bay NT 0820|
|When||Saturday, June 25, 2022|
|First Race||2:06pm ACST|
Race 1 (2.06pm) – $19,500 Darwin Horse Floats 0-70 Handicap (1600m)
Obligatory bounced back to form last start with a dominant four length win over 1600m (0-64) on June 4 and only has to repeat that performance to make it back to back wins. The 4YO gelding arrived in the Top End in January last year and won three straight before posting one further win and four seconds in his next nine starts. A much better horse these days compared to the one that finished 10th in the Darwin Guineas (1600m) last July. Obligatory might start as favourite, but the likes of Orcein, Brother Bassy, Pembroke Castle, Jet Jackson and recent arrival Dominus – who won a 900m trial on Tuesday after a first up fifth in open class (1200m) at Fannie Bay on June 11 – will keep him honest. Pembroke Castle was a narrow second over 1300m (0-70) at the hands of Tugga War on June 11, while Orcein finished third in that same race. Jet Jackson was quite simply flying in Darwin and Alice Springs before a last start sixth.
#3 Obligatory (1)
4yo Gelding | T: Gary Clarke | J: Jarrod Todd (59.5kg)
Race 2 (2.41pm) – $17,500 U-Cart Concrete TROBIS 0-58 Handicap (1200m)
Mr Boomjangles has not won since going back to back in October and December 2020, but he always seems to be competitive in the Top End having posted four wins, seven seconds, nine thirds and five fourths in 33 starts. The 6YO gelding just couldn’t click in NSW before arriving in the NT in October 2019. He hasn’t been far away since last September and after being placed in six of his past eight starts perhaps the drought will finally end in a race he is capable of winning. Pop Magic is certainly in the mix after a first up second over 1100m in Darwin before a last start win in an 1100m maiden on June 11. We Will Remember was a handy performer in South Australia and the big question is whether or not he will finally deliver after two poor displays in Alice Springs and Darwin. Starlite Rebel was a last start winner in a maiden in Alice Springs. Champs D’Or, Saint Olga and Hard Ransom are perhaps the best of the rest.
#1 Mr Boomjangles (9)
6yo Gelding | T: Tayarn. Halter | J: Paul Shiers (59kg)
Race 3 (3.12pm) – $19,000 JSM Civil 0-66 Handicap (1200m)
Miroku returns to the Top End after performing with distinction in four starts over a six month period in South Australia. A fourth over 1250m (0-64) and a fifth over 1400m (0-68) at Morphettville Parks was followed by a fourth over 1350m (0-62) at Strathalbyn. The 5YO gelding returned to action on April 30 and finished third over 1250m (0-60) at Morphettville, so it might well be a happy return to Fannie Bay for a horse who posted all of his three wins in Victoria as a three-year-old. Before heading south, Miroku recorded a second and two thirds in his only three starts in Darwin some 12 months ago. Elmore Lad brought good form from Victoria and is clearly getting better if his last two starts are any guide. New face Norse Mythology may surprise as he impressed in Queensland for the duration of last year. Noble War – a top performer in the lower ranks – Wicked Addiction, Testino and Looking For You must be respected.
#2 Miroku (5)
5yo Gelding | T: Jason Manning | J: Vanessa Arnott (59.5kg)
Race 4 (3.47pm) – $18,500 ROANT Members 0-62 Handicap (1100m)
Manly Cove has only had seven starts in Darwin after posting just one win in 10 starts in NSW. The 6YO gelding arrived in the Top End in late 2020 and won his first three starts before going off the boil in his next three starts. Manly Cove looked set to win over 1100m (0-64) on June 11 before succumbing to stablemate Global Wonder and he only has to continue from where he left off that day to get the cash. First Crusade arrived in Darwin in April and was a comprehensive winner on two occasions over 1100m (0-58) before a narrow second to the handy Super Famous in a three-year-old race over 1100m (0-56) on May 21. After winning a trial on June 7, Canton Kid is regarded as a top fancy despite not racing since January. Smartkap has been racing well since arriving in Darwin, while Star Of Monsoon, Sweet Cheval, Fragore, Real Valentia, Emerald Court, Brazilliant, New Roman and Faith And Love aren’t out of it.
#2 Manly Cove (4)
6yo Gelding | T: Gary Clarke | J: Jarrod Todd (58kg)
Race 5 (4.25pm) – $20,500 Niceforo Group 0-76 Handicap (1000m)
Poupee has been spectacular since arriving from Queensland and returns after making it three wins from as many starts on Anzac Day. The 4YO mare was an honest commodity in Queensland having won three races in 21 starts, which included seven minor placings. In Darwin, Poupee has simply been untouchable. A four length win over 1100m (0-70) on March 25 was followed by an eight length win over 1000m (0-70) before a four length win over 1100m in open company on April 25. Ideas Man was performing well in South Australia before a first up second in the Top End to the talented El Magnificence over 1100m (0-64) on May 7. He returned on June 4 to win by six lengths over 1000m (0-70) and could be Poupee’s biggest threat. Little Town Blues returned to form with a last start win over 1200m (0-64) on May 21. Gary Clarke’s Papalet, Mr Cashman and Bel’s Banner have good 1000m records and could do anything.
#2 Poupee (6)
8yo Gelding | T: Tom Logan | J: Sonja Wiseman (58kg)
Race 6 (5.00pm) – $25,000 TAB ROANT Gold Cup (1300m)
Giant Leap has an outstanding record in WA and is tipped to be one of the major contenders in feature races at an open level over 1300m and beyond during the Darwin Cup Carnival. The 5YO gelding debuted at Fannie Bay on May 21 with a win over 1300m (0-76) before a last start second to super sprinter The Captain over 1200m in open company two weeks ago. There are other horses in the last big race before the Cup Carnival good enough to seal victory, so it could be an intriguing contest. Noir De Rue, third in the Darwin Cup (2050m) last year, is back after proving competitive in Adelaide. Burton Street debuts at Fannie Bay after three wins and five minor placings in 12 starts in Victoria. Darwin specialist Masterati can bounce back after coming fifth over 1000m in open company last Saturday. Saccharo, another interstate raider with good form, finished third on debut over 1200m (0-79) on June 4.
#3 Giant Leap (5)
5yo Gelding | T: Gary Clarke | J: Jarrod Todd (55.5kg)
Race 7 (5.40pm) – $17,500 On Fire Racing Maiden Plate (1300m)
Boy Big is by no means a special, but he wasn’t all that far away in his first seven starts in Victoria before arriving in the Top End where he finished third behind Wolfburn and Fischer – two strong fancies for the Darwin Guineas – in a 1200m maiden on June 4. The 4YO gelding will once again lump 59kg and in all seriousness he might just have far too much experience for his rivals. Of the other likely 11 runners in the race, It’s Pins is probably the next best hope and a quick look at her form suggests that that first up win must surely be imminent. In 10 starts in Victoria, It’s Pins managed a second, three thirds, three fourths and two fifths. The record since arriving in Darwin last September is a second, two thirds and six fourths in nine starts. Finalising a trifecta and a first four is a lottery, but consider Bear Forever, Creative Control, Lunar Mach, Quick Return and Lady Tucan – a first up third in her opening race over 1100m on June 11.
#1 Boy Big (2)
4yo Gelding | T: Kym Hann | J: Stan Tsaikos (59kg)