Saturday Sorcerer led all the way to score a memorable victory in the 2014 Darwin Cup at Fannie Bay yesterday.
Saturday Sorcerer jumped from the gates well and jockey Paul Denton elected to take up the running on the Any Given Saturday gelding; with Saturday Sorcerer and Cantonese clearing well out from the rest of the field.
The five-year-old fought off Cantonese in the straight and both Pretty Blonde and top-weight Lightinthenite loomed as the dangers, but Saturday Sorcerer was able to dig deep to record a narrow win.
Saturday Sorcerer had scored just two wins from 17 career starts before arriving in the Northern Territory and trainer Stuart Gower said that the tough gelding had gone to another level during his stint in Darwin, which also included a victory in the Metric Mile (1600m) on July 26.
“The horse has just peaked, he loves Darwin and Paul has done a sensational job on him,” Gower told the media after the race.
“I was starting to get a bit worried the last 50m, but he’s just hung on and it was a super job.
“He’s more of a 2000m horse and I still think he’s immature.
“I think next year you’ll seen an even better horse, so hopefully we’re back again.”
Veteran jockey Paul Denton was chasing the ride on Design On Life in the Metric Mile, but lost the mount to Ryan Plumb and was instead booked to partner Saturday Sorcerer in the $50,000 event.
Denton has plenty of experience riding on the Darwin track and he was clearly thrilled to have recorded his second Darwin Cup victory after taking out the race with On The Beam in 1999.
“I wanted to ride Chris Nash’s horse in the Metric Mile but he put a southern jockey on so Stuart put me on this one,” Denton said.
“We had to win the Metric Mile to get in (to the Darwin) and here we are.
“It is terrific.”
Saturday Sorcerer made his racing debut with a victory at Morphettville on August 1 in 2012 and has been a consistent performer right around South Australia without putting together an impressive winning resume.
He has now scored four wins from his 20 race starts and has accumulated over $200,000 in prizemoney for connections.