We’ve always been a state that punches above its weight when it comes to racing and this year’s Spring Carnival proved just that.
We’ve taken a look back at the seven biggest moments of the Carnival when our horses, trainers and jockeys shone on the biggest stage in racing!
- Clarken’s Double Delight on Manikato Night
It didn’t take long for a South Australian presence to be felt during the Carnival and it came in the form of young trainer Will Clarken.
There’s not too many better night’s to bring up a double at The Valley than Manikato night and Clarken’s two sprinters shone under lights.
Bella Vella setting a cracking time in the 55 Second Challenge race under the guidance of SA export Jamie Kah in a time that will be hard to beat this season. The stable backed it up a few races later with Parsifal who was way too good for his rivals with the talented Damian Lane in the saddle.
Clarken has an amazing record for a young trainer and could be a star of the sport with his career only in its early stages.
- Toeroek Produces a Jolly Good Ride on Kemalpasa
The all SA team of Richard & Chantelle Jolly along with Jake Toeroek caused an upset on the first race of the card on Derby Day when the in-form Kemalpasa claimed the first race at $10.
All the talk pre-race was around Zoutori but it was the last start Listed Durbridge winner who was way too good for his opposition.
The Group 2 Linlithgow win was the biggest win of jockey Jake Toeroek’s career as well as being Chantelle Jolly’s first Group 2 winner of her career after joining her father in partnership.
- Dalasan Digs Deep in the Carbine Club
Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas’ strapping young colt Dalasan was super impressive winning the Group 3 Carbine Club in gutsy fashion.
Coming off a tough run in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, Dalasan would have been forgiven if he couldn’t chase down his fellow talented three-year-olds in the Carbine Club but under the guidance of Hugh Bowman he showed his true colours and fighting spirit.
With five wins and two seconds from eight careers starts including one Group 2 and two Group 3 victories, he’s on track to become one of our state’s most exciting prospects!
- Li’l Kontra Shows She’s a Classic in the Coolmore
She might not have been a winner in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes but Ryan Balfour’s filly Li’l Kontra showed Australia that she is full of class after running fourth in a super-hot field.
After a huge run in the Group 2 Blue Sapphire Stakes the start prior, the filly showed that run was no outlier after matching it with three of the best young horses in Australia in Exceedance, Bivouac and Libertini.
She looks to be a horse who could have some serious success in our Autumn Carnival next year and give the hometown crowd something to really cheer about in a race like the Sangster!
- Golden Effort by SA Pair in the Eagle
Not many tipsters gave our two SA chances much hope heading into the brand new $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill but boy did we prove them wrong!
Sunlight has been a genuine champion for Tony & Calvin McEvoy and showed that she is more than just a high quality sprinter, almost pinching the race with a daring front running ride from Luke Currie.
Our other runner, Behemoth started as a $101 chance and was almost the run of the race, narrowly missing the placings for David Jolly and Todd Pannell. His run was absolutely huge and the bargain buy gave his owners the thrill of a lifetime!
The ride also showed the class of Todd Pannell on the big stage who was been in sensational form in South Australia and should be getting more opportunities across the border in the near future.
- Gordon’s Garner too Good on Cup Day
It’s always nice to get a winner on Melbourne Cup Day and Gordon Richards did just that with his talented three-year-old Garner.
The gelding was well backed early in the day and jumped as favourite in the Schweppervescene Plate over the 1000m. It proved to be smart money as SA export Dwayne Dunn rode him an absolute treat down the famous Flemington straight to record a comfortable one length win.
He’s now had six career runs and never finished outside of the top two and looks to be another of our next crop to keep an eye on during the autumn.
- Our Baby Almost Produces Surprise Cup Win
Our honorary stayer Surprise Baby almost achieved something that nobody thought would be possible in the modern day. The horse that won our Adelaide Cup almost pinched one of the biggest races in the world, the Melbourne Cup. Paul Preusker’s gelding ran fifth in the race that stops a nation with a super ride from Jordan Childs.
He’s only a five-year-old so he’s still a massive chance to still achieve that Cup success in the future. Let’s hope that we see a few more talented young stayers use our Cup as a springboard for springtime success in 2020.