By Mike Hill
TOP young Darwin trainer Steele Bolton was in hot form, leading in a \’winning six\’ early last month and followed it up later in the month with a quartet of winners.
Bolton scooped six of the 10 races on Cup night, including the main feature with Spirit Monelli.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, officials had been forced to replaced this year\’s $34,000 Group 3 feature with the Ladbrokes Local Darwin Cup (537m), carrying reduced prizemoney.
But for Bolton, it was still an amazing achievement.
\”It was a very good night, actually it was a great night,\” the 25-year-old conditioner said.
\”I didn\’t think I could win the Darwin Cup, but I thought I had a few decent chances in some of the other races.
\”It was just one of those nights that everything fell into place perfectly.\”
In a gripping finish, Spirit Monelli ($8.10) ran down red hot favourite He\’s All Grunt ($1.80) to score by half-a-length in 31.82s, while Bolton\’s other finalists, Rev Fred Sloy ($3.90) and Cawbourne Sasha ($23.40), finished third and fourth respectively.
\”To be honest He\’s All Grunt is above Darwin class so I thought he\’d be very hard to beat,\” Bolton said.
\”So for Spirit Monelli to run him down was a great effort.\”
Bolton\’s other winners on the night were Cawbourne Rip ($5.60), Snoop A Loop $3.60), Recreational ($2.30 fav), Sunset Inferno ($2.70 fav), and Lock In ($4.30).
His quartet of winners a fortnight later were Recreational ($2 fav), Cawbourne Stuff ($8.70), Pretty Payton ($3.90 fav) and Pete\’s Puppet ($10.10).
Three trainers – Victoria\’s Andrea Dailly, South Australia\’s Dave Peckham and WA\’s Kody Charles – rugged up a quintet of winners during the month.
Dailly achieved her winning five – Surella Bale ($10.20), Zanfrey Bale ($3.10), Nevilla Bale ($9.50), Fabriola Zad ($1.60 fav) and Rockstar Brass ($1.90 fav) – at Ballarat; Peckham\’s success came at Mount Gambier with Aston Hayato ($1.40 fav), Double Vision ($2.40 fav), Connie\’s Entity ($2.25 fav), Zipping Dodge ($9) and Silent Jacko ($1.70 fav); while Charles was on fire at Cannington with Rebellion Bay ($1.50 fav), Jordan Sparkles ($1.60 fav), Sapphire Rose ($5.10), Romario ($2.40 fav) and Mallee Girl ($1.40 fav).
Meanwhile, Gary Johnson (at Launceston), Vadim Roz (at Gawler), David Hobby (twice, at Cannington and Mandurah), Brian Smoothy (at Taree), Tony Rasmussen (at Mout Gambier), Darren Taylor (at Rockhampton) and Wayne Scott (at Albion Park) – all snared four winners apiece and a host of trainers led in winning trebles.
NSW: Michael Hardman (at Dapto and Goulburn), Merle Clarke (Dubbo), Julie King (Maitland), Rob Tyler (Bathurst), Jodie Lord (Goulburn), Charles Northfield (Casino), Alan Provest (Coonamble) and Charlie Gatt (Nowra).
Victoria: Tony Duncan (Shepparton), Benjamin Magri (The Meadows), Graeme Jose (Sale), Rod Clarke (Shepparton), Andrea Dailly (Ballarat), Lyn Smith (Warragul) and Mark Delbridge (Horsham).
SA: Tim Richards (Angle Park), Tracie Price (Mt Gambier), Bozidar Stamenkovic (Murray Bridge), Ben Rawlings (Murray Bridge), Troy Murray (Gawler) and Yvonne Maxwell (Gawler).
WA: Lexia Isaac (twice, at Cannington and Mandurah), Shayne Williams (Cannington), David Hobby (Cannington) and Joe Dailly (Cannington).
NT: Richard Carr (Darwin).
Tasmania: Anthony Bullock (Hobart and twice at Launceston) and Debbie Cannan (Hobart).
Queensland: Selena Zammit (Albion Park), Andrew Suli (Rockhampton), Wayne Scott (twice at Albion Park), Cyndie Elson (Albion Park), Terry Priest (Ipswich), Fred Swain (Albion Park), Brad Belford (Townsville) and Darren Taylor (Rockhampton).