Arnott suspended for two weeks over Tsugaru ride at Darwin

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Vanessa Arnott

It was a day of mixed fortune for Darwin jockey Vanessa Arnott during last Saturday’s meeting at Fannie Bay.

Apart from landing a winning double on the five-event program for trainer and partner Jason Manning aboard Noir De Rue and Kirakat, Arnott also earned the wrath of the stewards.

Arnott could not have been more emphatic or convincing after producing two faultless rides on the Manning stablemates.

Lumping 63.5kg, Noir De Rue gave Phil Cole’s Meadows Young Buck (Ianish Luximon) plenty of start before leaving it late to secure victory in the Sky Racing Benchmark 76 Handicap (1600m).

It was back-to-back wins for the eight-year-old gelding after returning from a spell following the Darwin Cup Carnival, with Noir De Rue spotting Meadows Young Buck a staggering 11.5kg due to Luximon’s 3kg claim.

Kirakat, a $20,000 purchase at the 2022 Magic Millions Darwin Tried Horse Sale, made up for a last start second on debut at Fannie Bay on October 22 with a five length win in the Off The Track Lightning Series 0-58 Handicap (1100m).

The four-year-old mare was happy to sit back for a major portion of the race before assuming control in the home straight to take out Heat 2 of the 2022/23 Lightning Wet Season Series.

A winning treble eluded Arnott when she lost the race on protest after initially guiding the Cole-trained Tsugaru to a narrow win in the TROBIS Class 2 Handicap (1200m).

Jumping well from barrier six in the seven-horse field, Tsugaru showed good speed and after finding its rhythm Arnott looked to settle on the fence.

Tsugaru appeared to impede Chris Pollard’s Cudjerie (Stan Tsaikos) and Tom Logan’s Malibu Edition (Jarrod Todd) at the 1100m with both horses suddenly pulling up when restrained.

Cudjerie had regained her composure along the rails by the 900m, while Malibu Edition ended up at the rear of the field.

Down the side and with 500m to go, Tsugaru still led with Cudjerie, Mark Nyhan’s Rojo Boom (Sonja Wiseman), Chole Baxter’s To The Point (Casey Hunter) and Cole’s Turnstar (Luximon) battling it out for second place.

Cudjerie clicked into gear and once turning for home had roughly 350m to catch the former Victorian galloper Tsugaru, who was striving to win his first race in the Top End at the seventh attempt after debuting in July.

In a titanic battle, Tsugaru held firm when Cudjerie loomed up on the outside to win by a long head with the five-year-old gelding denying the four-year-old mare from making it three wins from four starts.

To The Point was four lengths adrift in third place, but the drama only escalated after the race.

Tsaikos requested to view the steward’s footage of the back straight, believing he had sustained interference which had impacted the final result.

It was after viewing the footage that Tsaikos lodged a protest against Tsugaru alleging interference approaching the 1100m, with stewards taking statements from Tsaikos and Arnott.

After considering the evidence, stewards upheld the protest on the basis that Arnott had allowed Tsugaru to shift inwards at the 1100m when not sufficiently clear, thus causing interference to Cudjerie.

Stewards were satisfied that the interference had cost Cudjerie the race and as a result declared him the winner, relegating Tsugaru to second place.

Arnott was charged and found guilty of careless riding and was suspended for the next two Darwin meetings for not only impeding Tsugaru, but also Malibu Edition.

After electing not to appeal the decision by Wednesday, Arnott was also unavailable for comment.

Noir De Rue had to dig extremely deep to overcome Meadows Young Buck, who was aiming to win his first race from four starts in the Top End after arriving from South Australia.

After holding court out in front from the outset, Meadows Young Buck skipped three lengths clear at the 400m approaching the final bend and in the home straight looked the likely winner.

Sitting third along the rails, Noir De Rue, who has finished third and fourth in the past two Darwin Cups (2050m), hit top gear turning for home and was in full flight once he passed Meadows Young Buck with 50m to go to win by almost two lengths.

Noir De Rue (Rating 89) is a class act having excelled at the top level in WA, SA and NT and has won almost $540,000 in prizemoney, so to edge out Meadows Young Buck, Gary Clarke’s The Mistral (Todd) in third, Prince Ruban (Hunter), and Zap (Wiseman) with 63.5kg can only be admired.

The Mistral carried 57kg, while Prince Ruban and Zap were assigned 55kg.

After contesting the Darwin Cup on August 1, Noir De Rue (59kg) was a first-up winner over 1300m in open company on Melbourne Cup Day when he saluted by six lengths.

Kirakat, who had one win from 11 starts in Victoria, was a certainty beaten last start after travelling wide throughout before going down by a nose over 1100m (0-58), but more than made up for that disappointment on Saturday.

Settling fifth off the speed, Kirakat continued to make ground and came off the fence once entering the home straight before hitting the front at the 200m to seal a comfortable win.

Clarke’s Hard To Excel (Todd), who led for most of the race, held on for second, with Tayarn Halter’s Hattan Man (Tsaikos) finishing strongly for third.

Clarke didn’t leave Fannie Bay empty-handed with Mr Cashman (Todd) taking out the Ladbrokes Blended Bets Handicap (1200m), the feature race on the program, in tremendous fashion by four and a half lengths from Cole’s Cielo D’Oro (Luximon) and Nyhan’s Jet Jackson (Hunter).

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