Great Buy continues impressive Alice Springs form

Alice Springs trainer Terry Gillett with apprentice Dylan Stanley and wife Leanne after Great Buy saluted at Pioneer Park on Saturday.

Trainer Terry Gillett won last year’s Pioneer Sprint (1200m) with Supreme Attraction – he might win Alice Springs’ premier sprint race again in April with Great Buy.

Seven-year-old gelding Great Buy made it five wins from 12 starts for Gillett with victory over 1100m (BM76) at Pioneer Park on Saturday.

Having raced for Ballarat trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy and Dubbo trainer Brett Robb, Helmet’s son has starred since making his Red Centre debut last February.

He finished in the top four in four of his first five starts, but since October it’s been five wins and two seconds.

Returning after seven weeks, Great Buy ($3.60) worked hard in the home straight when forced five-wide before downing Ray Viney’s Kickatorp ($4.60), who rattled home along the fence, by 0.7 lengths with Dick Leech’s Kerioth ($7) third.

If the Pioneer Sprint as exciting as Saturday’s race then the Alice Springs Turf Club can feel excited as five horses were in contention with 100m left to go.

Gillett’s Brat and Kerioth led turning for home before Great Buy and Kickatorp – sixth passing the 800m – entered the equation.

Lisa Whittle’s Mighty Murt ($2.45 fav), who defeated Supreme Attraction two weeks ago, was also some chance despite being forced four deep.

Great Buy sealed his fourth win from his past five starts, however Kickatorp, Kerioth, Mighty Murt (fourth) – cramped for room at a critical stage – and Brat (fifth) impressed.

For Wellington apprentice Dylan Stanley, Great Buy’s rider because of his 3kg claim, it was his first Alice Springs win since partnering Gillett’s Future Dreams in July 2021.

Stanley, 21, concussed when dislodged from his mount in Darwin in December, is back riding in Central Australia for three months for Gillett.

Kerry Petrick had four of the five runners over 1600m (0-70) with Venting ($2.80), ridden by Paul Denton, leading all the way before prevailing by 2.5 lengths from stablemate Boom Boom Sweet ($4.80) and Viney’s Quizzle ($2.15 fav).

Venting, with two wins from his past three starts, and Boom Boom Sweet led by six lengths passing the 800m and Quizzle couldn’t bridge the gap.

A former NT Derby winner, Venting is a five-year-old gelding by Star Witness.

Petrick’s The Girl’s Boy ($31), a four-year-old gelding by Rageese, had the bookies cheering when Phil Crich sealed an emphatic win by 3.5 lengths over 1200m (Class 2).

Settling in third place, The Girl’s Boy charged home to overcome fast-finishing backmarkers L’esperance Rock ($5) and Bean Shoppin’ ($10), representing the Whittle and Barry Cooke yards.

Excuses Excuses ($2.70 fav), lumping 60.5kg, continued his good form when he made it three wins from five starts for Whittle after toppling Gardner’s Gunnerside ($51) and Viney’s Tango Stepz ($21) over 1000m (0-64).

An eight-year-old gelding by Kaphero, Excuses Excuses – second in his other two starts for Whittle – jumped well from a wide gate and sat second behind Gunnerside before taking over at the 200m to win by 1.6 lengths.

After missing Friday’s Darwin meeting through suspension, Stan Tsaikos was the winning rider.

In the 1100m three-year-old event, Dan Morgan’s gelding Don’t Be Dramatic ($1.35 fav) made it two wins from three starts after outclassing Gardner’s Better Not Fuss ($7) and stablemate Fairytale Bliss ($6) by 4.3 lengths.

Don’t Be Dramatic (61kg), with Denton on board, shared the lead when he sat outside Don’t Be Dramatic before the son of Super One sprinted clear in the home straight.

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