Halter’s Alice Springs Cup and Pioneer Sprint quest

Tayarn Halter
Top End trainer Tayarn Halter celebrating with partner Lindsay Schmidt and Darwin apprentice Jade Hampson following a win at Fannie Bay. Picture: Caroline Camilleri (Darwin Photography Professionals)

Like fellow Darwin trainers, Tayarn Halter hopes to capitalise during the Alice Springs Turf Club’s Cup Carnival.

Halter sent six horses to the Red Centre for the revamped Carnival which kicked off last Sunday at Pioneer Park.

City Regal, Kippax, Fischer, Bullinachinashop, Tyquendo and Prohibited are currently under the care of Halter’s partner Lindsay Schmidt, apprentice Jade Hampson and stable-hand Stephanie Wright.

“I head down over the Easter weekend,” Halter said.

“Last race meeting at Fannie Bay on Friday until April 12 and I’ve got one runner.”

It’s Day 2 of the ASTC Cup Carnival on Saturday with the $50,000 NT Guineas (1600m) the showpiece.

Additionally, the sprinters and stayers will feature in The Soldier Lightning (1000m) and an open 1900m handicap in the build up to the $100,000 Pioneer Sprint (1200m) and $110,000 Alice Springs Cup (2000m) on the weekend of April 6-7.

City Regal lines up in the Lightning for Halter, while Kippax and Fischer will start in the 1900m event.

“Our initial intention was to head to the Pioneer Sprint with City Regal,” Halter said.

“He was a bit average first up at Pioneer Park, but we’re hoping for improvement.

“It’s a very good field on Saturday, I imagine they’ll be too sharp for him early.

“He’ll probably settle back and we’re just hoping that he can get home hard.

“He’s earned a cheque every time he has been around in Darwin.

“He’s more of a 1200-1300m horse, so with another run under his belt we’ll hopefully have him on the mark come Sprint day.

“Kippax is my stayer and I would like to get him into the Cup.

“If he doesn’t make the Cup field, he’ll run in that other 2000m race on Cup Day.

“He’s dour – he’s tried and tested from 2000-2200m.”

Last Saturday, Bullinachinashop charged home along the fence until she was cramped for room before finishing third, and Tyquendo was sixth on his Alice Springs debut.

“Hopefully we can improve further into the pointy end come Cup weekend,” Halter added.

Meanwhile, Halter was full of praise for Darwin pair Hampson and Emma Lines, as well as Alice Springs trio Dakota Gillett, Ianish Luximon and Lek Maloney, who will represent the NT in the 2024 National Apprentice Race Series.

It started on Wednesday at Murray Bridge, where Gillett finished fourth on Travis Doudle’s Prince Tikea and 10th on Andrew Gluyas’ Seven Secrets.

Maloney rides at Hobart on Sunday, Luximon heads to Ascot on April 3, Lines features at Darwin on April 12, and Hampson travels to Doomben on April 17.

NSW apprentice Dylan Stanley, currently based in Alice, along with Gillett, Maloney, Luximon and Hampson should secure rides in both legs in Darwin.

Lines is the only NT apprentice who can earn points.

Maloney, Gillett, Hampson, Luximon and Lines celebrated a win each on Day 1 of the Alice Springs Cup Carnival.

“Very proud of all the apprentices up here, they’re just flying,” Halter said.

“They’ve worked really hard to get where they are, they’re fantastic.”

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