Jarrod Todd secures Darwin double for Gary Clarke

Jarrod Todd, NT
Top Darwin jockey Jarrod Todd returns to the mounting yard after partnering the Gary Clarke-trained Wolfburn to victory in the feature race at Fannie Bay on Saturday. Picture: Caroline Camilleri (Fotofinish Racepix)

It was a day of fluctuating fortune for jockeys at Darwin on Saturday.

Jarrod Todd, the premier rider in the Top End and Country premiership for the past four years, saluted aboard Wolfburn, a -384.62 favourite with online bookmakers, and Tiara Jewel (+200 fav) for trainer Gary Clarke.

Todd, 36, has 42 wins this season.

Apprentice Emma Lines (24), who turned 18 last Saturday, remains second in the jockeys’ premiership after getting Phil Cole’s Miami Vice (-111.11 fav) home.

Fellow apprentice Jade Hampson saluted on Tayarn Halter’s Raffalli (+500) – it ended a long Darwin drought for the 20-year-old following a double on March 16.

Alice Springs-based Ianish Luximon, 26, celebrated his first Top End win since becoming a senior rider this month with a spectacular victory on Kevin Lamprecht’s Kieffer (+650).

Clarke started all five runners in the open 1300m handicap with five-year-old gelding Wolfburn leading throughout before winning by 3.3 lengths from the talented Siakam (+650), who pushed the former NT Guineas winner for the first half of the race, and Influential Jack (+700).

Wolfburn, the son of Snitzel, is likely to appear in the ROANT Gold Cup (1300m) on June 29 before the Chief Ministers Cup (1600m) and Darwin Cup (2050m) during the 2024 Carnival.

Tiara Jewel, Hallowed Crown’s five-year-old mare, is back after winning two races from five Darwin starts last year and also led throughout over 1600m (0-58) before overcoming stablemate Nassau County (+290) and Chris Pollard’s A Big Chance (+220) by 3.3 lengths.

Two weeks ago, Miami Vice won an 1100m maiden by six lengths, but he had to work on Saturday before toppling fellow three-year-olds over 1100m (BM53).

Sharing the lead with Ibegood (+1300), second behind the son of Shalaa on May 11, Miami Vice finally skipped clear at the 100m before rolling Halter’s gallant filly by 1.5 lengths with Lamprecht’s Frankfurt (+160) a distant third.

Casey Hunter was dislodged from Chole Baxter’s Tilussion when they jumped, and although she escaped injury stewards stood the 29-year-old down for the last race.

“Yeah, I’m fine, just a bit of a sore head, I’ll be right,” Hunter said.

After two thirds following a spell, five-year-old gelding Raffalli led passing the 900m before holding off all challengers to sneak home by 0.3 lengths from Clarke’s fast-finishing Global Wonder (+1500) and Cole’s Moorestown (+120 fav), the biggest threat turning for home.

Raffalli has impressed in Darwin ever since the son of Choisir won first up for Halter and Hampson at Broome in August 2022.

Kieffer, a four-year-old gelding by Mawingo, was having his first Darwin start and victory over 1200m (Class 2) certainly was memorable after trailing the leaders by 10 lengths at the 700m.

The winner of an Alice Springs 1400m maiden in February, Kieffer was last at the 400m in the eight-horse field before hitting top gear in the home straight to nail Jason Manning’s Motivated Miss (+210 fav) – the leader passing the 1000m and three lengths clear at the 200m – on the line to prevail by half a length with Clarke’s Magnetic Tycoon (+450) third.

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