Star jockey Damian Lane will reunite with Western Australia’s leading owner and breeder Bob Peters for the first time in many seasons after being booked for spring rides aboard Arcadia Queen.
The comeback mare resumes this Saturday for Lane in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield, with WA’s star jockey Willie Pike booked for stablemate Regal Power in the pivotal Group 2 race that serves as the launching pad for a number of spring hopefuls.
Peters confirmed the bookings on Monday, saying Lane had first call on the mount aboard Arcadia Queen this spring. He said that the mare, who has not raced this year after sustaining serious injury late last year in The Golden Eagle, had returned well but was likely to need the run.
“She’s sound now,” he said of Arcadia Queen. “She got knocked down in The Golden Eagle and the adrenalin kicked in so she got up again, obviously over-exerted herself to still finish off well to run fifth,” he said.
“Unfortunately, that caused a lot of tearing of muscles and things like that in her back and she had a long time in rehabilitation to get her back.
“Race pressure will tell the story. So far it’s been good but it took until November to May to get her over it all.”
Peters explained that Lane has not ridden for him since leaving Perth to base himself in Melbourne some six or seven seasons ago but he is keen to reunite with the rider who is now one of Australia’s finest.
He said Arcadia Queen’s work had suggested she had lost none of her ability, but he said she will benefit from her first run in more than nine months.
“We started off a little bit at home on the farm and she’s now done a bit of work in our stable here and she travelled over well and she’s going along quite nicely,” he said.
“We had a little hiccup with a bruised heel and it took a while to burst out so I don’t thinks she’s as forward as Regal Power.
“Regal Power’s had the experience of Caulfield as well and as we know, sometimes the first time around there can be tough so it’ll be good to get her around the track and have a look at it and get her started.”
Regal Power and Arcadia Queen are two of six Peters-owned horses being trained for the spring at Brent Stanley’s Sutton Grange property.
Peters said he believed Regal Power was his best winning chance in the Lawrence.
“Well, he did beat nine Group 1 winners in The All-Star Mile and he’s pretty much up to the mark so I would think so (his best chance),” he said.
As for his other horses he’ll soon unleash, Peters said All-Star Mile runner-up Superstorm probably had the biggest upside.
“He’s developing,” he said. “He was a bit of a lean fellow as a three-year-old. Tall and lean but he’s developing well and everything’s gone well for him.
“If we are talking about Regal Power beating nine Group 1 winners in The All-Star Mile, well, so did he. He was last around the corner at Caulfield and ran past nine Group 1 winners.
“He started off a month behind the others because hopefully the races that he is aiming at are later than the others. I’d like to get him up (Sydney) for The Golden Eagle but I entered him for the Cox Plate just in case (we can’t travel).”
Peters, who has Perfect Jewel aimed at some spring mares’ races, confirmed Showmanship, who has won five of his six races in Perth, would also carry the familiar cerise and white colours of the stable on Saturday in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes over 1200 metres.
And as for Windstorm, who is also a winner of five of his six starts in Perth: “He’s not far away from starting,” Peters said.
“He’ll probably start off the following week over 1200 metres at The Valley.”