Dynamic duo score hat-trick
‘Plan B’ comes up trumps
Ten-time champion trainer Gary Clarke and stable rider Jarrod Todd were the toast of Fannie Bay on Friday when combining for a hat-trick of wins in the middle of the fiverace program.
The combination, so potent for the past three years, combined with Patria, Global Wonder and Bel’s Banner in races two, three and four, while they were denied a four-timer in the last by Clarke’s daughter Ella, who saddled up Eurellydidit for a second consecutive win.
Bel’s Banner returned to winning form with a ‘Plan B’ ride from Todd in the Anzac Day Races 25th April Handicap (1000m).
After being slightly slow into stride from the inside gate, Todd elected to allow his mount to find her feet and trailed the pacemaking trio From the never never, Brazenpine and A dora dancer.
He improved to be right on their heels on straightening and once balanced up, the 7yo mare let down in fine style to score by a widening two and ahalf lengths from From the never never, with Bra zen pine third.
Bel’s Banner has only had nine starts in the Top End since her first start on the track in mid-October 2021. She won her first three in fine style, but has since gone winless – until now.
“She’s just had no luck,” said trainer’s wife Sharleen. “She had a suspensory issue and we have had to take her along quietly, but it’s good to see her do that today.”
Global Wonder, after a luckless fifth last start, got back in the winning groove in the Silks 4.21 Happy Hour Handicap (1100m).
Todd allowed his mount to trail fifth in the run before following Fraction Late through approaching the home turn. Fraction Late kicked clear but Global Wonder was in hot pursuit, and under the urgings of ‘JT’, got home by a neck. Turnstar was third some five lengths back.
Old-timer Patria turned back the clock to score his 10th career win in the Sky Racing Handicap (1300m).
Trained by Gary Clarke and with Jarrod Todd in the saddle, Patria punched through from his inside draw to share the lead with Ye Hella, and then found sufficient reserves over the final stages to score by a length and a-half from I’m A Dreamer, who finished well, with stablemate Raffalli third.
Dreyfus provided promising apprentice Emma Lines with a comeback win in the Mindil Beach Casino Resort Maiden Plate (1300m). Lines, who has only had her license since December, had been on the sidelines since suffering a fall from Nokondi on 18 March when her mount hit the outside running rail. She suffered an injury to an ankle, but has been back riding trackwork for a week and gave Dreyfus, trained by her master Phil Cole, a peach of a ride in the day’s opener.
Ruby Ruby Ruby led the favourite Battle Class from the outset, and Dreyfus was allowed to find his feet third in the run.
Lines stuck to the inside in the home straight until angling her mount out with about 100m to go, and Dreyfus hit the line with gusto to score by three-quarters of a-length, with Bluffed finishing well to take second the same margin ahead of Ruby Ruby Ruby and favourite Battle Class.
Eurellydidit, in the hands of Casey Hunter, got the last run at his rivals in the bet365 Handicap (1600m) to down long-time leader Siakam and New Enterprise by a short neck and a long head.
The son of Magic Albert has been well handled by Clarke Jnr and Friday’s win was his fifth from 29 starts – he is fast closing on $100,000 in stakemoney.