Noir De Rue impresses on gloomy day at Fannie Bay

The Jason Manning-trained Noir De Rue, with Vanessa Arnott in the saddle, continued his outstanding first-up record by overcoming high-quality opposition in open grade over 1300m at Fannie Bay on Friday. Picture: Caroline Camilleri (Darwin Photography Professionals)

Jason Manning’s Noir De Rue continued his fabulous first-up record with victory against quality opposition in open grade over 1300m in Darwin on Friday.

For the nine-year-old gelding, it was his fifth win from 13 starts after a spell, and the fact he also lumped 65kg made the achievement even more special.

It was the highlight on a gloomy day at Fannie Bay, where the final two races were abandoned because of persistent rain.

The dirt surface was left wet and muddy after almost 100mm of rain in three days, and subsequently, visibility for jockeys became an issue.

Stewards called off the final two races, including the $40,000 Lightning Wet Season Series Final (1200m), which are expected to be added to the Darwin Turf Club’s meeting next Saturday.

The last time Noir De Rue saluted first up was in the ROANT Gold Cup (1300m) last July, when he produced an astonishing finish.

It’s not unusual for Noir De Rue to receive the big weights – his current rating is 96 – and he now boasts 14 wins from 72 starts from 1200-2200m.

Noir De Rue ($9) hadn’t raced since finishing ninth in the Darwin Cup (2050m) last August and settled in third place on Friday behind leaders Cielo D’Oro ($5 fav) and Bel’s Banner ($10) exiting the back straight at the 700m.

Passing the 400m, Noir De Rue, partnered by regular rider Vanessa Arnott, was labouring, but once turning for home, he came to life after finding an inside route.

In a desperate finish, Noir De Rue lifted to edge out Cole’s Cielo D’Oro (60.5kg) and Saccharo (62kg) with 0.3 lengths separating the trio, while Gary Clarke’s fourth-placed Bel’s Banner (54kg) was only half a length adrift.

Ella Clarke, Gary’s daughter, landed the quinella in the special conditions race over 1200m when Gunshot Glitter (Aaron Sweeney) pipped Debating by half a length.

For Gunshot Glitter ($13), it was his first win after seven Victorian starts and 10 Darwin starts, while Debating ($2.45 fav) bounced back after coming seventh over 1100m in his NT debut on December 30.

Tom Logan’s Make An Effort ($5) made it back-to-back wins after downing Dick Leech’s Pride Of Limassol ($2 fav) and Patrick Johnston’s Gotta Beat ($61) by 2.5-lengths over 1000m (0-64).

The former Victorian mare, pinged out of the gates, but her pilot Sonja Logan was forced three deep before skipping away at the 600m.

Last start winner Pride Of Limassol, jumping from the inside gate, never left the fence and was the big threat turning for home, but Make An Effort was home and hosed after sprinting clear at the 100m.

With Jarrod Todd aboard, Garry Lefoe’s Barragunda ($9) posted its first Darwin win at the seventh attempt after debuting in July 2022, when he finished strongly to seal victory over 1200m (0-58).

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