Jade Hampson stars with Pioneer Park double

Northern Territory apprentice Jade Hampson. (Photo by Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Trainer Ray Viney and Darwin apprentice Jade Hampson starred with winning doubles at Pioneer Park on Saturday as the Alice Springs Turf Club and NT racing community honoured the late Ken Rogerson.

Rogerson, 78, a well-known trainer throughout Australia and New Zealand spent over 30 years training in the Red Centre before his sad passing last Saturday from a long illness.

The opening race was the Vale Ken Rogerson Handicap (1200m) with the Dan Morgan-trained Angelluccis ($9), ridden by apprentice Lek Maloney, triumphing against BM54 opposition.

Viney and Hampson teamed up when five-year-old gelding Square Cut ($1.26 fav) secured victory by the narrowest of margins over 1100m (0-64) from stablemate Eastside Diamond ($10) with little separating the joint leaders over the final 600m.

Neither gave an inch in the home straight as they produced their own version of the famous Bonecrusher-Our Waverley Star battle before Square Cut – holding the fence – prevailed by an eyelash.

Since relocating from Victoria last June, Square Cut has had seven Alice Springs starts for three wins and four seconds.

Viney ended the day on a good note when Jessie Philpot piloted five-year-old gelding Quizzle ($5) to victory over 1400m (0-70).

Philpot, who missed the ride on Square Cut with Hampson able to claim 2kg, settled Quizzle at the rear in the seven-horse field and passing the 1000m he was seven lengths behind the leaders.

The son of Sizzling made a move at the 600m and although camped four deep outside Valley Prince, Nicotera and Barocco Bar turning for home he found the lead at the 200m and saluted by 2.1 lengths.

The ever-consistent Quizzle, who arrived from SA a year ago, has registered four wins and seven minor placings from 14 starts.

Hampson’s first win was achieved on Garry Lefoe’s six-year-old gelding Mighty Murt ($1.80 fav), who outclassed Terry Gillett’s Supreme Attraction ($2.70) over 1200m (BM76).

Mighty Murt made it 11 wins from 34 career starts – his Pioneer Park record stands at four wins and three minor placings from 16 starts.

A last start third behind Tubthumper over 1200m (BM75) in Darwin on December 1, Mighty Murt started well from the outside gate in the five-horse field and settled outside fellow leader Brat.

Supreme Attraction, last year’s Pioneer Sprint winner, was having his second run back following a five-month spell and was six lengths astern of the leaders in last place at the 800m before flicking the switch.

Once dispensing with Brat turning for home, Mighty Murt’s biggest worry was whether or not he could hold off Supreme Attraction over the final 350m.

Mighty Murt (56kg) led by two lengths passing the 200m and with victory assured eased up to overcome Supreme Attraction (61.5kg) by 0.8 lengths with Gillett’s third-placed Brat a further 4.3 lengths adrift.

The fact that Lek Maloney could claim 3kg certainly enhanced the prospects of Angelluccis who was backing up from a first up second over 1100m (BM54) on January 6 following a five-month spell.

Angelluccis jumped well and was never far from the lead, and although she had to deal with four challengers passing the 300m it was all over at the 100m with the four-year-old mare finishing 2.3 lengths clear of Arrogant Miss ($10) and L’esperance Rock ($5.50).

Apprentice Ianish Luximon’s good form continued when he guided Devilry ($5.50) to a debut Pioneer Park win over 1000m for maiden and Class 2 runners from Don’t Be Dramatic ($1.60 fav) NT debutante Hello Carol ($14).

Don’t Be Dramatic, victorious in his first start over 1000m (BM54) two weeks ago after leading, jumped to the front once again, but with 400m to go Devilry made her move before edging clear at the 200m to win by 0.8 lengths.

Luximon is second in the Alice Springs and Provincial jockeys’ premiership with nine wins behind last season’s leading rider Sonja Logan (10.5).

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