Supreme Attraction keeps firing for Gillett stable in Alice Springs

Alice Springs trainer Terry Gillett, pictured with daughter and apprentice jockey Dakota-Lee and wife Leanne, also an accomplished trainer, during a meeting at Pioneer Park. Picture: Nikki Westover Photography

4/6/23 Alice Springs Race 5 Review & Replay – Supreme Attraction (1st)

The Terry Gillett-trained Supreme Attraction continues to be the headline act in Alice Springs.

He made it three straight wins on Sunday after decimating his rivals in the $25,000 Pioneer Park Anniversary Cup (1400m) at Benchmark 76 level at Pioneer Park.

The seven-year-old gelding is an exceptional form after taking out the $100,000 Pioneer Sprint (1200m) during the Alice Springs Cup Carnival on April 30, which was also Cup Day.

Victorian jockey Mark Pegus, rejecting a Stawell winter for the warmth of the NT, was once again aboard Supreme Attraction after guiding the horse to victory the previous week in a $24,500 open benchmark handicap over 1000m.

Fellow Victorian hoop Stan Tsaikos, the champion jockey in the Alice Springs and Provincial premiership for the past two years, partnered the former NSW galloper in the Pioneer Sprint.

From June-September in 2021, Supreme Attraction had six starts in the NT for Nyngan trainer Rodney Robb and after being placed twice in three Darwin starts he won three races in Alice Springs.

Robb raced Supreme Attraction in regional NSW and in outback Queensland before Gillett acquired the horse last spring.

After a first up sixth over 1100m in opening company in October, Supreme Attraction saluted at his next start in open class over 1200m in November before finishing among the placegetters three times in his next six starts.

Assigned 62.5kg on Sunday, Pegus was happy to settle the gelding in fourth place in the six-horse field as highly-credentialled stablemate That’s Justified (Dakota-Lee Gillett), a last start winner over 1400m (BM70) on Alice Springs Cup Day (April 30), held a commanding lead from the 900m until the 400m.

Supreme Attraction ($2.20 fav) was spotting That’s Justified (60.5kg) up to half a dozen lengths at the 600m, but made ground approaching the final bend and was in front at the top of the straight with 350m to go.

It was all over at the 200m with Supreme Attraction prevailing by 5.25 lengths from Carroll Hunter’s $4.20 betting site hope Desert Lass (Casey Hunter) – a last start second in the Alice Springs Cup (2000m), who spent a lot of time in third place before catching That’s Justfied ($3.80) right on the line.

4/6/23 Alice Springs Race 1 Review & Replay – Kickatorp (1st)

Meanwhile, trainer Ray Viney and jockey Jessie Philpot combined for a winning double on the five-event program and success definitely had that sporting flavour with Kickatorp ($1.65 fav) saluting over 1100m (Class 2) and Square Cut ($6) delivering over 1000m (0-58).

Kickatorp, once trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, was a narrow second over 1100m (0-66) on Alice Springs Cup Day and on Sunday he was well adrift of his three rivals – Manhattan Man was a late scratching after escaping at the gates – before hitting the go button at the 500m.

All four runners were spread across the track turning for home before Kickatorp – the son of Hallowed Crown – sprinted clear to claim victory by 5.5 lengths from Rene Taylor’s $7.50 chance Tycoons Dior (Hunter) and Will Savage’s $4.80 prospect Speed Wheel (Jade Hampson).

On top of his victory, Kickatorp, a four-year-old gelding, picked up five points in heat three of the Red Centre Winter Series, which culminates with a $40,000 final over 1200m (0-66) on August 25.

4/6/23 Alice Springs Race 3 Review & Replay – Square Cut (1st)

Lightly-raced four-year-old gelding Square Cut was making his Alice debut after arriving from the Cranbourne stable of Julien Welsh and was extremely impressive en route to his first career win after settling outside fellow leaders Beatbox and The Last Charge.

Square Cut, the son of Kuroshio, made his move at the 400m before straightening for home and managed to give his rivals the slip to overcome fast-finishing pair Frilly Design (Sonja Wiseman), Terry Huish’s $2.70 favourite, and Greg Connor’s $10 contender Bold Tropic (Pegus).

4/6/23 Alice Springs Race 2 Review & Replay – Liberty Blue (1st)

It was a rare sight following Kickatorp’s victory in the opening event as the heavens opened during the second race – just the fifth day of rain in Alice Springs since April 4.

Liberty Blue (Hampson), now trained by Strathalbyn’s Scott Whittle, marked his return to the Red Centre in style with a hard-fought win over 1000m (0-70) to make it six wins, eight seconds and a third from 18 starts at Pioneer Park.

The eight-year-old gelding, the son of Statue Of Liberty, was making his 60th career start in his fourth visit to Central Australia and after jumping well from the inside gate sat on the fence to share the lead with Esashi.

The backmarkers made their move at the home turn and up to half a dozen horses were in the mix before Liberty Blue ($4.40), winner of the 2022 Winter Series Final last August for former Alice Springs trainer Lisa Whittle – Scott’s sister, edged clear at the 200m.

Dick Leech’s $3 favourite Kerioth (Pegus) stormed home and missed catching the leader by 0.2 lengths with Paul Gardner’s $20 outsider Fair Go (Wiseman) sneaking up the rails for third.

4/6/23 Alice Springs Race 4 Review & Replay – Hettinger (1st)

Kyneton trainer Neil Dyer has arrived in the NT for yet another Darwin Carnival and although Kaonic, fourth in the 2021 Darwin Cup before finishing second last year, and Latest Bentley failed to run a place on Sunday it was a different story for Hettinger.

The four-year-old gelding, who unlike his stablemates was having his first NT start, got the cash over 1400m (BM54) to post his first win after 17 starts with apprentice Gillett producing a flawless ride.

Hitting the front when they jumped, Hettinger settled in second place along the rails turning into the back straight with the leader Dee Fearless sitting on his outside and there was little pace before Gillett made her move at the 700m exiting the back straight.

By the 600m, Hettinger ($11) was in front and although Gillett hadn’t yet flicked the switch the field bunched turning for home before the son of I Am Invincible sprinted clear with 300m to go once straightening.

Gardner’s $4.40 hopeful Miss McGregor (Pegus), sitting mid-field before leaving the fence once picking up speed at the 500m, finished 3.25 lengths adrift of the winner, while George Cooke’s $3.40 fancy Bean Shoppin’ (Wiseman), who was never far away, battled on gamely for third.

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