Lines caps off eventful day with Darwin double

Darwin apprentice Emma Lines, 17, pictured after winning a race in the Top End recently, maintained her remarkable consistency with a winning double at Fannie Bay on Friday. Picture: Caroline Camilleri (Darwin Photography Professionals)

You could wax lyrical about the success of Darwin-based apprentice Emma Lines all day.

The 17-year-old, who debuted in December 2022, continued her amazing strike rate with a winning double at Fannie Bay on Friday.

That made it 54 wins for the teenager, who won last year’s Darwin Guineas (1600m) aboard Tubthumper for trainer and her master Phil Cole.

The leading apprentice in the Top End and Country premiership last season with 21 wins, she finished third in the jockeys’ premiership behind Jarrod Todd, who has won the past four titles, and Sonja Logan.

After booting El Magnificence ($3) – making its 62nd start – and Whitten ($3 fav) home for Cole, Lines (19) remains second behind Todd (28) in the 2023/24 premiership.

Cole’s Looking For You ($13), whom Lines rode to victory in her first career race start, buckled at the 700m in the opening race over 1300m (0-58) when the nine-year-old gelding trailed the leader Desarmer ($9).

Lines somehow held on before Looking For You recovered to finish fifth behind Gary Clarke’s Desarmer (Todd) – with Tom Logan’s fast-finishing Queen In The North ($2.90 fav) and Tayarn Halter’s I’m A Dreamer ($17) filling the minor placings.

Desarmer, Turn Me Loose’s five-year-old gelding from Victoria, was making its NT debut before saluting with half a length to spare.

El Magnificence, a nine-year-old gelding by Magnus, had finished second in its past three starts, but wouldn’t be denied yesterday when prevailing over 1100m (0-76).

Chris Nash’s Mr Have A Chat ($2.50 fav) – a new face from SA – shared the early lead with Patriotic King and El Magnificence before Lines settled in third place leaving the back straight.

Approaching the final bend, El Magnificence accelerated along the fence to catch the leader Mr Have A Chat, who drifted wide in the home straight to win by 2.2 lengths – Clarke’s backmarker Vallabar ($18) finished strongly for third.

For El Magnificence, seventh in last year’s Palmerston Sprint (1200m), it was his seventh win from 25 starts for Cole.

Whitten, a four year-old gelding by Written Tycoon, made it two wins from his past three starts after swooping late at the end of 1200m (Class 2) for the three and four-year-olds to nail Clarke’s Starspangledancer ($3.70) right on the line.

Camped in fifth place, Whitten made his move at the 500m and finally caught a tiring Starspangledancer to win by half a length – Logan’s Erroneous ($6), a debutante from Queensland, was third.

Jason Manning’s Bon’s Pride ($2.40 fav) secured three wins on the bounce when the four-year-old gelding by Bon Aurum stepped up in grade to overcome Clarke’s Bel’s Banner ($3.60) and Cole’s Vunivalu ($3.90) over 1200m (0-70).

With Vanessa Arnott as the pilot, Bon’s Pride was third behind Vunivalu and Fromthenevernever exiting the back straight before winding up at the 400m and kicking clear with 200m to go when Bel’s Banner threatened to win by two lengths.

Having finished among the medals in the first four races, Clarke capped off a good day when Wilsons Prom ($4.40), with Adam Nicholls in tow, blitzed his rivals by 6.5 lengths over 1600m (0-64).

After two straight wins, the five-year-old son of Xtravagent, finished 11th on Australia Day over 1300m (BM73) – the meeting was eventually abandoned when Fannie Bay resembled a muddy lake following relentless rain.

It was a different story on Friday when after sharing the early lead, Nicholls, who missed last week’s meeting through illness – flicked the switch at the 600m before Wilsons Prom left Peter Stennett’s New Enterprise ($8.50) and Halter’s Kippax ($16) in its wake.

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