Logan secures third treble in as many meetings at Alice Springs

Leading NT jockey Sonja Wiseman celebrating a win at Fannie Bay in Darwin with husband and Top End trainer Tom Logan.

It would be difficult to confirm, but it’s unlikely a jockey has sealed a winning treble in three consecutive meetings in Alice Springs.

Darwin-based jockey Sonja Logan, who won her first ever NT title last season when she claimed the Alice Springs and Provincial Premiership achieved the feat at Pioneer Park on Saturday.

There were three meetings in the Red Centre in November and Logan dominated to suggest that she is back in town after a quiet start to the season in Alice Springs and Darwin.

She was aboard Leanne Gillett’s Typically Brazen ($3.90) in the opening race on the five-event program and dead-heated for first with Paul Gardner’s Shepliments (Lek Maloney) over 1200m at Class 2 level.

Logan won the final two races on Terry Gillett’s $2.05 favourite Great Buy over 1400m in open company and Gardner’s Perkova ($3) over 1600m (0-64).

It could have been a spectacular day for the 31-year-old had Lisa Whittle’s $3.30 favourite Omoplata not imploded before coming sixth over 1100m (BM54) and had Gardner’s Red Wraith ($1.50 fav), aiming for a fifth straight win, not fallen short by a nose when second over 1000m (BM76).

With 9.5 wins for the 2023/24 campaign, Logan has skipped clear of apprentice Lek Maloney (5.5), apprentice Dakoa Gillett (5), Adam Nicholls (5) and Stan Tsaikos (5), the leading rider in Central Australia for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.

Logan has a tremendous winning record when she leads and controls the pace and tempo, and that was certainly in vogue on Saturday.

However, it was the wily and crafty Paul Denton, the veteran NT jockey, who spoiled Red Wraith’s party when he piloted the Kerry Petrick-trained Throw At Da Stumps ($3.90) to victory in a race that mirrored the Bonecrusher and Our Waverley Star battle in the 1986 Cox Plate.

Red Wraith, victorious a fortnight ago by four lengths after leading early, had Throw At Da Stumps, returning from a spell after a last start win at Kununurra in early September, for company on its outside from start to finish in the four-horse field.

It wasn’t going to be easy for Throw At Da Stumps, a five-year-old gelding, as Red Wraith broke the 1100m track record (1.01.87) on Remembrance Day – a mark that had stood for 23 years.

Petrick, winless in Alice this season, was bullish when discussing Throw At Da Stumps’ hopes and the son of Rich Enuff never let Red Wraith out of its sight.

In what proved to be a fantastic tussle, it was still a lottery with 200m to go and just when it seemed as though Red Wraith (57kg) had edged ahead it was Throw At Da Stumps (59kg), the winner of two Darwin races in June and July, who lifted right on the line.

Not only did Great Buy, a seven-year-old gelding by Hemet, make it three wins from his past four starts, but he also went back to back when he pulled clear at the 500m after having sat outside fellow leader Nicotera.

Perkova, a five-year-old mare by Per Incanto, stepped up to mile for the first time after 23 starts with Logan finding the lead at the 1400m before she had Vitesse Breeze for company passing the 1000m.

With 500m to go, Perkova skipped clear as Terry Gillett’s $2.20 favourite Tintern Power (Tsaikos) and Russell Bell’s $6 chance Arrogant Miss (Ianish Luximon) challenged Vitesse Breeze.

Although two lengths clear, Perkova (57.5kg) had 350m to negotiate once swinging for home before securing her second Alice win from nine starts – and Tintern Power (55kg) was gradually bridging the gap.

A tiring Perkova held on to win by half a length, while Arrogant Miss was 5.5 lengths away in third place.

Gardner, who is having a fabulous season, now has 12.5 wins for the 2023/24 period and extended his lead over Whittle (8) in the trainers’ premiership when Shepliments shared the spoils with Typically Brazen.

Typically Brazen, eyeing two wins from four Alice starts, settled on the fence and shared the early lead and looked the likely winner passing the 200m before fourth-placed Shepliments ($17), who broke her maiden status on November 11, rocketed home.

In the end, the judge couldn’t split Typically Brazen (55kg), a six-year-old mare by Brazen Beau, and Shepliments (52.5kg), a four-year-old mare by Magnus, while Whittle’s $10 runner Prophesier (Jade Hampson) rallied to finish 1.8 lengths adrift in third place.

Family Ties (Tsaikos), starting at $7.50 for Terry Gillett, bounced back to form winning by 5.5 lengths from Gardner’s $7 contender Lamoree (Hampson) and Ray Viney’s $9 prospect Debbonaire Boy (Jessie Philpot) over 1100m (BM54).

The four-year-old gelding by Zebedee saluted in his third Alice start over 1000m (0-58) in July before finishing seventh on two occasions, but returning after a three-week break, it was one-way traffic on Saturday after finding the fence and leading after pinging out of gate six.

Lamoree, a last start fifth in July, kept Family Ties honest passing the 400m, while Debbonaire Boy, along with Mangione and Omoplata, were a further four lengths back.

It was no contest once turning for home, with Lamoree unable to keep pace with Family Ties before denying Debbonaire Boy second place, while the remaining six horses in the race were separated by 0.7 lengths passing the post, with Dip Me Lid storming home for fourth.

Just like Logan, Tsaikos is also a master when it comes to leaving the opposition in his wake if allowed to dictate terms out in front.

It proved to be a good day for the Gilletts, and it in fact capped off a big week after daughter Dakota confirmed that she had linked up with leading Adelaide trainers Richard and Chantelle Jolly.

The 18-year-old apprentice has also spent time working on her craft recently with Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker in Sydney.

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