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Alice Springs’ number one sprinter Le Commandant and Gary Clarke’s Darwin flyer Ticket To Toorak will share the top weight for the $135,000 Palmerston Sprint (1200m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on Saturday.

Boomwaa, above, is one of four horses trainer Gary Clarke has entered for the Palmerston Sprint at Fannie Bay in Darwin. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Boomwaa, above, is one of four horses trainer Gary Clarke has entered for the Palmerston Sprint at Fannie Bay in Darwin. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Both Northern Territory trained gallopers will carry the top weight of 60.5kg in the prestige sprint of the 2017 Darwin Cup Carnival.

The pair will met again for the first time in the Palmerston Sprint after they clashed in the $100,000 Pioneer Sprint (1200m) at Ladbrokes Pioneer Park at Alice Springs on April 29 when the Greg Connor trained Le Commandant scored a tough win while Ticket To Toorak laboured into sixth place, five and half lengths behind the winner.

Le Commandant was sent for a spell following his Pioneer Sprint win while Ticket To Toorak returned to Darwin where he was able to find winning form again.

It didn’t take Ticket To Toorak long to find the winner’s stall again when he raced away to record a three and a quarter lengths win in the $25,000 Ladbrokes Bernborough Club Cup (1000m) at Fannie Bay on June 24, beating his stalemate Handsome Tycoon who had beaten him home when fourth in the Pioneer Sprint.

“It was a good win by Ticket To Toorak, but I thought Handsome Tycoon may have got the cash,” Clarke told the NT News.

“Since the Pioneer Park, I reckon Ticket To Toorak has stepped up and I don’t think Handsome Tycoon is the same.”

“Obviously, the Palmerston Sprint is the aim.”

Handsome Tycoon will miss out on a start in the Palmerston Sprint but as well as Ticket To Toorak, Clarke is likely to be represented with King’s Pardon, Boomwaa and Captain Punch.

Ticket To Toorak then went on to win the $34,000 Coates Hire Weight For Age (1200m) at Fannie Bay on July 22 while the well performed Captain Punch, also a last start winner in the $30,000 Roger Booth Memorial (1100m) at Fannie Bay on July 8, has been allocated 57kg in the Palmerston Sprint and has been installed as the early $4.40 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.

Boomwaa is pressuring his stablemate for favouritism at $4.60 just ahead of the Clarke trained King’s Pardon and Le Commandant at $5.50 and Ticket To Toorak at $6.

Early market order for the Palmerston Sprint at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.40 Captain Punch, $4.60 Boomwaa, $5.50 King’s Pardon, Le Commandant, $6 Ticket To Toorak, $9 Moot, $10 Kievann, $15 He’s Our Woody, $17 Cadman, Gracious Prospect, $31 Jackanory, Lady Phromily, Super Bryan, $41 Action Again, Your Excellency, $51 Niccoco, Tea Tree Gully.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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