Victorian-bred galloper Finke has kicked off the Top End carnival in style with a runaway victory in the Darwin Guineas (1600m).
Approaching the home turn on Saturday, Finke was the only one punters wanted to be on, as he clicked into another gear to win with astonishing ease.
The son of Blue Gum Farm sire Turffontein was sold by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm at the 2014 Inglis VOBIS Yearling Sale and has now won 7 in a row for trainer Gary Clarke. “He’s been a really good little horse up here,” Clarke said. “I was concerned racing him first-up over the mile but I needn’t have worried.”
The $70,000 Darwin Guineas was the first leg of the Triple Crown which carries a $100,000 bonus. The remaining legs are the NT Derby (July 16) and Darwin Cup (August 1). The only horses to complete the treble have been Brinney (1989) and Ventilago (1996).
Corinella based Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm bought his dam Bloomin Marvellous (Desert Prince) as a yearling and she is related to G2 Ascot Vale Stakes winner Innovation Girl (Rubiton). The mare is now owned by Manner Lodge and was bred back to Skilled last year.
Finke first raced in South Australia under the care of Kristi Evans. “I sent him down to Kristi to be properly educated,” Clarke explained. “There are no two-year-old races in Darwin but I wanted him back here as a three-year-old.
“I just put one hurdle at a time in front of him and he kept jumping them. I thought he might be a bit brilliant to run a mile, but as I’ve stretched him out he looks like he might be a better stayer than a sprinter.”