TEARS OF JOY

Lo­cal trainer over­come as he takes out Pi­o­neer Sprint

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - DAVID WHITE

IT was not only the big­gest win of his ca­reer, but for Greg Con­nor it was also a highly emo­tional oc­ca­sion yes­ter­day.

The tears were flow­ing for the Alice Springs trainer and his fam­ily when six-year-old geld­ing Le Com­man­dant salut- ed in the $100,000 Hold­fast In­sur­ance Pi­o­neer Sprint (1200m) at Pi­o­neer Park.

Le Com­man­dant was the first horse from the Red Cen­tre to win the fea­ture sprint on the Alice Springs Turf Club’s Cup Car­ni­val pro­gram since the Lisa Le­foe-trained Seal No More in 2014.

And it was also a lo­cal tri­fecta with the Will Sav­ige­trained four-year-old geld­ing Su­per Bryan (Barry Hup­patz) and the Viv Old­field-trained King’s Par­don (Paul Den­ton) filling the mi­nor plac­ings.

All three were well sup­ported in bet­ting and all boasted good form lead­ing into one of the most open Pi­o­neer Sprints in years. Le Com­man­dant started at $11, with Su­per Bryan ($8), who jumped from the out­side gate, and King’s Par­don ($6) among the top picks.

Con­nor was al­ways con­fi­dent that Le Com­man­dant would run well as he has a habit of win­ning first up af­ter a break.

He did it over 1300m at Fan­nie Bay last July af­ter a four-month break and once again over 1200m at Pi­o­neer Park in Fe­bru­ary af­ter a six­month break.

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