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Friday 29th – Max 31°C. Sunny.
Saturday 30th – Max 32°C. Sunny with slight northerly breeze 15-20km/h.
R5 Palmerston Sprint 1200m
It may be only a small field but this year’s edition of the Palmerston Sprint is packed full of quality. Think there are only three serious chances in the race and all from the stable of Gary Clarke. Captain Punch is clearly the top pick with stable jockey Brendan Davis aboard. Whilst he is up in grade he has been smashing his rivals and the clock in all three runs this time in. He will lead this field easily and simply be too quick for them.
Handsome Tycoon although he has the quality I just don’t think he can give away 6.5kgs to Captain Punch and run past him. If there was too be an upset, then it will come from Prince Harada who will have the drop on both of them. The big query is that he can work himself up before a race and will need luck in running but no doubt has the ability.
- 3 of past 5 winners have carried 55.5kg or less
- 3 of past 5 winners second up in preparation
- 3 of past 5 winners last start winners
- 4 of past 5 winners have been 2 weeks between runs
Previous Winners & Lead Up Result
Moss’n Time – BR 9 57kg SP $4.00 – 4th up, 2 weeks 1st HCP 34k 1200m Darwin
Eight Bills – BR 2 55.5kg SP $6.50 – 2nd up, 2 weeks 1st HCP 24k 1100m Darwin
Action Again – BR 8 57kg SP $3.90 – 2nd up, 4wk freshen 1st Welter 30k 1100m Darwin
Youbolt – BR 11 54kg SP $34 – 8th up, 2 weeks 9th WFA 33k 1200m Darwin
Sense Of Sun – BR 4 53kg SP $5.50 – 2nd up, 2 weeks 3rd WFA 30k 1200m Darwin
1. Handsome Tycoon: Former Victorian galloper who has won five from six since heading the Gary Clarke stable one of those wins being the feature Pioneer Sprint in Alice Springs. It has won both of its lead up runs this campaign the latest being a very soft win in the traditional WFA race two weeks ago. It is sure to of come on from that run and will be ready to peak for this race. The query is that it is paying for its great form with the handicapper having to lump 61.5kgs which is 5kg more than its Pioneer Sprint win. Is still the class runner and will be in the finish despite an increase in weight.
3. Prince Harada: Has run two very good races since heading north, the first being a gallant second to Handsome Tycoon in the Pioneer Sprint and the latest an ugly but very good win having its first start for the Clarke stable. He played up in the mounting yard, then in the barriers (having to be vetted). Despite being held up for a run he still managed to win last start so will no doubt take a stack of improvement from that effort. The key to this horse is giving him room to move so if Paul Shiers can keep him off the fence he will fly home late.
4. Captain Punch: Has really come of age this campaign winning all three starts on this track by huge margins and running very fast time. This is obviously the hardest race he’s seen but he enjoys the luxury of a lightweight and should lead from the alley. The last 50m is going to be the query but his last three runs he has shown no signs of stopping. Fits the profile as the winner despite being on a seven-day backup.
5. Silent Whisper: South Australian visitor who is racing very well in the top end. Almost beat Handsome Tycoon two starts ago then simply couldn’t match it with that same horse under WFA conditions last time. It will get a nice trail just off the speed here and receives a 6.5kg turnaround on that runner. The big query is if this horse has the ability to give these favourites a ‘start’ and run past them. I think he has the task ahead and is a place chance at best.