Palmerston Sprint betting tips from top Darwin analysts

Star Darwin jockey Jarrod Todd drives five-year-old gelding Syncline to victory in the 2022 Palmerston Sprint (1200m) at Fannie Bay.

The richest race for the sprinters in the Northern Territory takes place on Saturday with the running of the $135,000 Palmerston Sprint (1200m) at Fannie Bay.

It’s the feature race on Day 7 of the Darwin Cup Carnival and will attract a full field of 12 runners.

Thoroughbred Racing Northern Territory chief executive Andrew O’Toole and Darwin Turf Club racecaller Craig Sant run their eye over the race.


It’s a very even field with a number of chances.

The barrier draw has probably made it a bit tricky for one or two, including the top weight Supreme Attraction having drawn barrier 14.

He’ll come in three and go from barrier 11 when the emergencies come out.

He’s been racing well in Alice Springs, but the draw is not going to help him.

That said, he does get back in his races and can be ridden cold.

He came from a fair way off them to win the Pioneer Sprint, so he will probably be hitting the line hard – but the barrier certainly doesn’t make it easy.

You have to have Supreme Attraction in the mix somewhere.

It’s a shame Expert Witness isn’t there – I think he was a huge chance in the race.

The horse that I’m warming to, especially after the barrier draw, is Ideas Man, trained by Chris Nash and to be ridden by Mark Pegus.

He was unplaced last year – that was on the back of three straight wins.

He’s had two wins, a second and a third this campaign, so he’s racing in similar form to last year.

Just with that barrier draw of two, I know Chris and Mark were keen to be inside the first four.

I think he’ll jump away and if he doesn’t lead, he’ll be right on the pace.

I think he’s better when he can lead – he’s hard to get past.

I’m a leaning a little bit towards him over last year’s winner, Syncline.

I reckon he’s preparation has been timed nicely by Gary Clarke.

He’s had three starts back in Darwin for a second, a third and a fourth.

Might have been disappointing last time out in the weight-for-age, but they ran a very good time on that occasion.

He’ll probably jump from barrier four with the emergencies coming out – I think that will give him a nice run.

He doesn’t have to lead, he can sit just off them like he did last year.

He’s a seven-year-old now and of course Clarke is looking for his sixth Palmerston in the last eight runnings.

My third selection is Dick Leech’s Early Crow.

I was impressed with the way he finished strongly last week over the 1100m to win the Flying Sprint.

Dick won the race in 2010 with Lucid Reflection – he’ll probably jump from barrier seven once the emergencies come out and I thought he was a good chance.

In what is a really competitive line up, Phil Cole’s got four runners – I think Cielo D’Oro is probably his best chance.

Cielo D’Oro has drawn nicely and he will probably end up in barrier three, he’s going well.

He was second to Expert Witness last time out on Day 1 of the carnival.

Phil’s Vunivalu has drawn badly, as have El Magnificence and Star Magnum.

The one we really haven’t touched on is Masterati, he’s got such a good record on the track and has got such a good record at this distance.

He’s won five from 26 starts, as well as five seconds and four thirds – he’s racing really well for Nicole Irwin.

I’m sure that he’ll give a good sight after producing two good performances back in Darwin – he’ll probably jump from barrier eight.


This year’s Palmerston Sprint is extremely open with all 12 runners bringing solid recent form.

As usual, there appears plenty of early pace with at least half the field suited when they can lead.

So taking that on board, I’m looking for a runner who will sit just off the pace.

Syncline, Cielo D’Oro and Early Crow fit the bracket to my liking.

Syncline is up 1.5kg on last year’s win, but is a tough seasoned sprinter and I think he can go back-to-back for Gary Clarke and Jarrod Todd.

Cielo D’Oro has done nothing wrong in Darwin, drawn well with a light weight and just needs a clean run in transit.

Early Crow comes off a career-best win last time out and the stable and jockey are in form.

A tricky barrier might give away too big of a start, but look out late.

Ideas Man is drawn to find the rail quickly and is my pick of the on-pace runners.

Palmerston Sprint 2023 betting tips

Andrew O’Toole (TRNT)

Craig Sant (Darwin racecaller)

Greg Aldam (Darwin Turf Club)

David White (

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