Four wins at Fannie Bay for champion trainer Gary Clarke

Jarrod Todd
Jarrod Todd won the feature race at Fannie Bay on Saturday aboard the former Queensland galloper Spaceship for Darwin trainer Gary Clarke. Picture: Caroline Camilleri (FotoFinish Racepix)

After posting his 50th win of the season last weekend, Darwin trainer Gary Clarke’s rich vein of form continued with four winners on Saturday.

Clarke, who will win the Top End and Country title for a 12th straight year, celebrated with Spaceship – a $1.45 favourite with online bookmakers – Influential Jack ($3), Pink Panther ($12) and Magnetic Tycoon ($12).

Jarrod Todd, Clarke’s No.1 rider, made it 47 wins when he partnered Spaceship, Influential Jack and Pink Panther – he’ll be the champion jockey for a fifth straight year.

There have been six Fannie Bay meetings since April 19, and during that period Clarke (16) and Todd (15) have dominated.

Spaceship, a four-year-old gelding by Invader, made it three wins from as many starts since arriving from Robert Heathcote’s Brisbane stable in an open 1200m handicap.

Settling third, Spaceship was made to work in the home straight before finally shaking Phil Cole’s Star Magnum ($8) at the 100m to win by two lengths – Kerry Petrick’s Alice Springs Cup winner Venting ($21) was a distant third.

Star Magnum was gallant, with Spaceship clocking 1.07.75 – the 1200m track record is 1.07.09.

Influential Jack also settled third over 1300m (0-70) before edging clear at the 100m to outclass Tayarn Halter’s Raffalli ($6) and Chris Pollard’s Hamlet Von Snitzel ($10), the early leaders, by 1.2 lengths.

After 11 Darwin appearances without success, Influential Jack has now won two of his past three starts.

With five Queanbeyan wins under his belt, Pink Panther made it a winning debut in Darwin over 1100m (0-64) when he nailed Heather Lehmann’s Emerald Court ($4.40) right on the line to prevail by a head.

Emerald Court led from the outset before Pink Panther, who was close by in second place, pounced at the 100m, with Cole’s Exceedingly Magic ($4.20) not far away in third place.

Magnetic Tycoon was stepping up to the 1600m (0-58) for the first time, but that was no burden when he swooped late to pip Pollard’s A Big Chance ($15) in the shadows of the post to win by a long neck.

Passing the 800m, Magnetic Tycoon, who had only previously won a 1200m maiden, wasn’t sighted on the radar in eighth place before jockey Aaron Sweeney flicked the switch turning for home.

Pollard’s Go Barney Go ($101) was among the front-runners before finishing 4.4 lengths adrift in third place.

For A Big Chance’s jockey, Sonja Logan, it was another tough loss after also partnering Emerald Court.

Pollard’s Call It A Loan ($4), with Casey Hunter on board, backed up after finishing second last Saturday to take out the 1100m maiden.

Tayarn Halter’s Ibegood ($1.55 fav) pinged the gates, but it wasn’t long before the filly had Call It A Loan for company and little separated the pair turning for home.

The former WA gelding edged clear to win by a length as Ibegood made it three seconds from as many starts – Petrick’s Lean On Me ($26) flashed home for third.

It was Pollard’s first win since April 12 and Hunter’s first Darwin winner since March 16.

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