Kerry Petrick has been relatively quiet since taking a team to Kununurra a few months ago, but her stable will be out in force at Alice Springs on Saturday.
Petrick, born and raised in the Red Centre, will have nine runners competing across four of the five races at Pioneer Park.
They are Perisseuo, Princess Pancakes, Dip Me Lid, Mangione, Real Divine, Kikuyu, Throw At Da Stumps, Magnolia Rose and 2022 NT Derby winner Venting.
After winning the 2023 NT Derby with Anphina in July during the Darwin Cup Carnival, Petrick headed to WA for the Kununurra meetings on August 26 and September 2 where Dip Me Lid, Magnolia Rose, Boom Boom Sweet and Throw At Da Stumps had success.
She has only had three runners start on the Red Centre dirt since featuring on the Kununurra grass, and that trio failed miserably.
Petrick, who spends various times of the year in Alice Springs and Darwin, has rallied the troops as she strives to pick up her first win at Pioneer Park since May 28, when Real Divine saluted over 1200m at 0-58 level.
“I’m currently in Adelaide, I’ve just been over to Victoria for last Saturday’s races at Dunkeld,” she said on Thursday.
“I’m back in Alice Springs tomorrow.
“I’ve actually got nine runners out of the 15 I’ve currently got in work starting first-up, so it’s going to be an interesting day.
“There’s probably four out of the team — the stayers — who are really only having a fitness run, it’s the beginning of their preparation.
“The others are in their right races, so it should be a fun day out.
“I’ve got a few more starting again next week.
“Then, obviously as the stayers progress in their training preparation they will be closer and closer to their suitable distances.”
Although Petrick has been a notable absence, the stable has been working diligently behind the scenes.
“We haven’t really had a break because when we came back from Kununurra we started working on the other horses,” she said.
“Obviously we haven’t been going to the races, but we’ve all been working extremely hard to prepare them as we all do to get back to the races.”
Throw At Da Stumps, who won his first two races in Darwin in June and July before placing in two of his next three starts at Fannie Bay, takes on in-form pair Red Wraith and Boy Big over 1000m at Benchmark 76 level.
“I really like Throw At Da Stumps, although he’s in a race with two very well performed horses,” Petrick said.
“I think he’s an up and coming horse, he’s running at his right distance.
“First start on the Alice Springs track could be interesting, but his Darwin Carnival form was very good.”
Perisseuo takes on Class 2 opposition over 1200m after spending almost four months in the paddock following a Darwin Cup Carnival campaign.
“I really like Perisseuo, I’ve won with him over 1200m,” she said.
“He has been quite a difficult horse to train.
“Jockey Paul Denton has done an absolutely wonderful job on him and we seem to have him in a good head space and we’re hoping he can take that to the races.”
Princess Pancakes is a new arrival from Victoria and will contest the same race as Perisseuo.
“She’s actually Anphina’s full sister and her track work has been amazing,” Petrick said.
“Probably my only concern with her, which is why Paul chose to ride Perisseuo, is that she has drawn barrier one.
“As we all know, horses that race first time on the dirt from an inside barrier are probably going to get a fair spray (of dirt) and that could work against her.”
Petrick’s only NT win this season occurred in Darwin with Boom Boom Sweet on Palmerston Sprint Day on August 5.
She ended the 2022/23 season with 10 wins in the Top End premiership and 13 wins in the Alice Springs premiership.
Meanwhile, Petrick praised the efforts of fellow Alice Springs trainer Paul Gardner, who currently leads the premiership, and was excited for local apprentice Dakota Gillett, who has linked up with leading Adelaide trainers Richard and Chantelle Jolly.
“So pleased for Paul — as we all know, he’s had a bit of a tough run,” she said.
“It’s wonderful to see that he’s enjoying it and having some success and everything is going good.
“I was so happy when I heard that Dakota got a start with South Australia’s leading trainers.
“Richard has had quite a big association with NT racing, he understands it all, and I just think it’s the greatest news ever that she’s got that opportunity and I wish Dakota all the best of luck.”