Race jockey Vanessa Arnott won’t be surprised if her mount Saturday Sorcerer can conjure up a surprise win in today’s $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin.
Arnott has ridden Saturday Sorcerer on four previous occasions for three seconds and a sixth and is confident that the eight year old gelding has a great chance in the Darwin Cup following his last start second for Arnott behind Moon Devil in the $45,000 Buntine Handicap (1900m) at Fannie Bay in Darwin on July 22.
“He was super in the Buntine. He ran second in the Buntine last year,” Arnott told the NT News.
“He’s just fit and well, and ready to go.”
“The owners said they wanted me this year because I’ve had four rides on him for three seconds.”
Arnott said that the Saturday Sorcerer passed the pre-race Darwin Cup veterinary inspection with flying colours and the vet noted how good his legs were for an eight year old with six wins and sixteen minor placings from fourty-seven starts under his belt.
“The vet comes and looks at all the horses running in the Cup, and he said how good his legs were for his age,” Arnott said.
It has been almost ten months since Saturday Sorcerer visited the winner’s stall when he took out the 2016 Dunkeld Cup (1800m) at Dunkeld in November with leading Melbourne apprentice Beau Meterns in the saddle.
Saturday Sorcerer will have to jump from the outside of the twelve horse Darwin Cup field but trainer Jason Manning said that was ideal for the veteran campaigner.
“Perfect. It was quite funny at the barrier draw – we wanted to draw an outside gate,” Manning said.
“As it worked out we were the last ones drawn and that was the last gate.
“We weren’t disappointed when all the inside gates were getting drawn because we wanted to be out wide.”
“He’s in there with a shot.
“I was rapt with his Buntine run the other day.
“His whole campaign’s been for (today).
“He’s an honest campaigner who rolls forward and puts himself up there.”
Saturday Sorcerer has been a drifter in the betting from $10 when the field was released last Thursday to be marked at $19 today while race morning favourite Billet Doux is now quoted at $4.60 and has lost his top spot in the betting to the top weight Royal Request and Lieder who share favouritism at $4.40.