Emma Lines star continues to rise with Darwin double

Darwin trainer Peter Stennett is having an excellent start to the 2023/24 season and his impressive run continued with a winning double at Fannie Bay on Saturday.

Trainer Peter Stennett and apprentice jockey Emma Lines continued their good form with winning doubles at Darwin’s Fannie Bay on Saturday.

Stennett won the final two events on the six-race card over 1600m (0-58) with The Albion (+300 with horse betting sites), with Lines aboard, and New Enterprise (+1100), partnered by Vanessa Arnott.

That made it seven wins for the season for Stennett, currently third in the Top End and Country trainers’ premiership behind Gary Clarke (14) and Phil Cole (8).

For Stennett, it proved an uplifting day following the recent passing of his sister and father-in-law.

Lines, 17, who can’t keep out of the spotlight, enjoyed back-to-back wins when she guided Exceedingly Magic home for her master Cole over 1000m (Class 2).

That’s 10 wins for the 2023/24 campaign for the teenager, who sits second behind Jarrod Todd (14) in the jockeys’ premiership.

The Albion, a six-year-old gelding, is firing as victory made it three wins from his past five starts – he finished second on the two other occasions.

The son of Shamexpress led by two lengths at the 1200m entering the back straight before he had Clarke’s Prince Ruban (+140 fav) for company.

Passing the 500m, The Albion held sway from Prince Ruban and with no impending threat a two-horse battle in the home straight ensued.

The Albion, who had a slight hiccup in the back straight when Lines attempted to slow the tempo, was still going strong at the 200m and with a 4kg weight advantage overcame Prince Ruban by just over a length.

Cole’s +700 hope Benevolent was five lengths away in the third place.

After a stint in SA, The Albion returned to the Top End and disappointed in three races at Fannie Bay, but hasn’t missed a beat since winning on Katherine Cup Day in August.

Lines is mastering the art as a pacemaker and the same situation applied when Exceedingly Magic eclipsed Clarke’s Patriotic King (+105 fav), who broke the track record for 1100m en route to victory by 9.8 lengths on September 9.

Exceedingly Magic, a six-year-old mare, was returning after an unlucky fourth over 1100m (0-58) at the annual Katherine meeting, but won a 900m barrier trial by 6.2 lengths on September 26.

Pinging out of the gates before taking a sit on the fence, the daughter of Outreach soon had Patriotic King for company, with Tayarn Halter’s third-placed Madame Romanov (+3000) not that far away.

Patriotic King led narrowly at the 500m and looked the likely winner turning for home, but Exceedingly Magic (+700) wouldn’t yield and fought back passing the 200m as Cole’s Fly Nice (+650) stormed home.

It was a genuine three-way go before Exceedingly Magic (54kg) pipped Patriotic King (59kg) and Fly Nice (55kg), with 0.36 lengths separating the trio across the line.

New Enterprise, a winner on Anzac Day before seven unplaced starts, shared the early lead before skipping two lengths clear at the 1000m.

The five-year-old gelding was cruising exiting the back straight, and although Garry Lefoe’s Rising Fire ($2.40 fav) and Chris Pollard’s Jimmy’s Secret (+750) made ground the other runners were labouring.

Turning for home with 350m to go, New Enterprise was three lengths clear and even though Arnott kept turning to check on the opposition the son of Anacheeva prevailed by 6.3 lengths from Rising Fire and Jimmy’s Secret.

The Mark Nyhan-trained Velvet Revolution (+1500), with Sonja Logan as the pilot, impressed when Dissident’s four-year-old mare led throughout in her NT debut over 1100m (BM54).

The former Queenslander, victorious in a 900m barrier trial on September 5 before her first Darwin appearance was delayed when scratched a fortnight ago, was two lengths clear at the 800m and in full control.

Velvet Revolution, unplaced in four previous starts, was well clear and swishing her tail at the 200m before easing up to sink Clarke’s Patria (+240) and Pollard’s Toppa The Mountain (+1700) by 4.3 lengths.

Clarke’s $1.65 favourite Starspangledancer, aiming for three straight wins, was within striking distance of Velvet Revolution before capitulating at the 400m.

Finishing at the tail of the field in seventh place, it was confirmed that Starspangledancer had suffered from cardiac arryhthmia.

The Chris Nash-trained Son Of Bielski (Mark Pegus) made it back to back wins when he swooped home at the 300m to seal victory from Clarke’s Global Wonder ($15), who led for most of the race, and Cole’s fast-finishing Charretera (+1200) over 1300m (0-64).

Son Of Bielski (+200 fav), a seven-year-old gelding by Dissident, settled ninth after jumping from the outside gate in the 10-horse field before accelerating at the 600m and although forced six deep in a race where there were many chances swinging for home he just had too much class.

Having not won since July last year, Clarke’s +260 Autocratic (Todd) ended the drought with a win over stablemate Bel’s Banner (+900) and Cole’s El Magnificence ($5) over 1200m (0-70).

A seven-year-old gelding by Wandjina, Autocratic, a former Darwin Guineas winner, settled three lengths adrift of early pacemakers Niewand and El Magnificence in third place before making ground at the final bend.

It turned into a four-way battle when Bel’s Banner, winding up from the back, pounced at the 200m after El Magnificence had caught Niewand and after Autocratic had made his move.

It was Autocratic’s fifth start after returning to action on Darwin Cup Day on August 7 after spending 12 months on the sidelines.

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