Murray Bridge: Todd Pannell hits 100 winners for the season with double

It took a cool, heady ride and a barnstorming finish out wide but jockey Todd Pannell was up for the challenge when he steered home He’s A Balter in a 1000m Benchmark 64 at Murray Bridge on Saturday — his 100th win for the season at all tracks.

Fittingly, it was on board a horse he has ridden regularly and for a trainer, Will Clarken, who has supplied a big percentage of those wins.

Clarken also is not without hope of chasing down the metro trainers’ premiership.

Pannell, 36, said it was a relief to chalk up another milestone, praising the efforts of horse and trainer.

“This is my third 100 winners in a season which is good to do again,’’ he said.

“To do it on this horse and for Will (trainer) was good, too.

“The horse has only got a short turn of foot but he always responds.

“And to carry 61kg was a good effort.

“For me, it is nice to have another good season. Looking forward to maybe a few more (wins) after this.’’

He’s A Balter absolutely flies home to win for @todd_pannell and @Clarken_Racing 😮 pic.twitter.com/0qrcaVft2F

Pannell finished the day with a double as did main premiership rival Jess Eaton, who won on Pindaric and Munster.

Eaton leads Pannell by one win.

Trainer Michael Hickmott also held his lead with a double on the Eaton winners.

Trainer Tony McEvoy was all smiles after Zoushine ($2.90) cleared away to take out a 1200m 3YO, a Racing SA bonus race worth $102,250.

Ridden a treat by Barend Vorster, the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained runner beat the consistent Spinola Bay and Yuri Royale.

McEvoy said it was a relief to win, especially with the extra prizemoney.

“That Racing SA bonus money is great for all, it certainly makes a difference,’’ he said.

“I wasn’t sure if the 1200m would suit. I was nervous coming in but we decided to go for the race as she was eligible for the race.

“She was really brave. She missed the start which we didn’t expect. She was out of tickets at the finish but Barend rode her so well.

“We might go for a Listed race worth $100,000 at the end of the year.’’

Belle of Yorkes ($19) gave trainer Jon O’Connor a welcome change in fortune when she finished strongly to win a 1200m 2YO, the race also worth $102,250 courtesy of the Racing SA bonus money.

Finishing second on debut, Belle of Yorkes was ridden a cool race by Karl Zechner to account for Jaazeb and Witness Greatness.

Meanwhile, the Port Augusta Cup will be run on Sunday with Azzureous, Rex Goliath, Andrea Mantegna and Grinzinger Star among the main chances.

Cup day also will feature the launch of the Melbourne Cup trophy tour which will visit 44 places in Australia before arriving at Flemington on November 2.

The tour of the $275,000 18-carat gold cup is seen as a major way of promoting the race and strengthening community ties.

Australian racing icon and dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey John Letts will help kick off this year’s tour.

Originally published asMurray Bridge double lifts Pannell to another ton

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