‘Pony’ shows a huge heart

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - JOSH SPASARO

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.

Pic­ture: FELIC­ITY EL­LIOTT

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

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