‘Pony’ shows a huge heart
KISS The Condor might only be “the size of a pony” but he has the heart of lion, according to top Darwin trainer Gary Clarke.
The five-year-old (jockey Richie Oakford) showed his toughness and class to comfortably prevail by 2 ½ lengths over Sherrie Lawlor’s Neuschwanstein in the $20,500 Southern Cross Television Handicap (1200m) at Fannie Bay yesterday.
The five-year-old was hampered by stone bruising in his last start, well beaten by almost eight lengths in the $25,000 Darwin RSL Social Club WFA (1100m) on April 25.
But the gelding bounced back to lead all the way in the feature sprint yesterday.
“He went into his last start just off that stone bruise and it was probably his worst run yet,” Clarke said. “He’s a small horse only the size of a pony.
“He’s probably a bit unlucky he ran against (star stablemate) Neat Feat a few times.”
Clarke has seen his sprinter come a long way since his first start in the Top End on September 24 in 2016.
“He’s done a mighty job, “Clarke said.
“He won a maiden when he came here, and has gone right through to open company.
“And he’s only the size of a pony.
“He’s not a top-liner. He’ll probably win some races now before the good horses get here (for the Darwin Cup Carnival).”
Top End trainer-jockey Carl Spry oversaw two winners — Mavericks (jockey Kim Gladwin) in the race-one $18,500 Ladbrokes Handicap (1100m) and rode Cunning Moves in the race-two $17,500 Designer Kitchens Maiden Plate (1100m).
“Kim rode Mavericks really well in a small field,” Spry said.
“Evil Miss (trainer David Bates) just beat him (on April 13), but I threw him in the 64 (handicap) because he’s been getting hammered in weight.
“He’s an honest campaigner. That’s his sixth win for the stable now.”
Cunning Moves won race two by a whopping six lengths.
“He did it with a bit of authority. He can run a bit further but I didn’t push him,” Spry said.
“He’ll probably go around again in two weeks in the three-year-old race depending on how he pulls up.”
Other winners yesterday were Tregorik (trainer Bob Richard, jockey Felicia Bergstrand) in race three, and Desxiri (Clarke-Gladwin) in race four.
Gary Clarke’s Kiss the Condor ( jockey Richie Oakford) was an all-the-way winner in the $20,500 Southern Cross Television Handicap (1200m) at Fannie Bay