Perth Wildcats champion Damian Martin was already poised to have a special weekend with his jersey to be retired alongside fellow Wildcats greats on Sunday.
His weekend got off to the perfect start with the exciting galloper he part-owns Red Fifty Three successful in the Morley Growers Market Handicap (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
It was a scintillating return to racing by the Grant and Alana Williams-trained gelding, who now has a record of four wins from six starts.
Martin said he was blown away by Red Fifty Three’s return.
“It was the best race I’ve ever seen in my life,” Martin told TABradio.
“If you replay that race, he had no right in winning it.
“Chris Parnham was absolutely brilliant in finding a gap that no one else saw.”
Speaking after the race, Grant Williams said it was a thrill to train a horse for a man of Martin’s stature and added he couldn’t believe Red Fifty Three won on the same weekend as the jersey number retirement.
“I didn’t realise he had the function tomorrow to retire his number,” he said.
“It’s just so weird how this sort of stuff happens.
“I’m an Eagle (fan) and Alana is a Wildcat (fan) and she loves Damo.
“The horse we had early we called it Redhage and then we had Red Army and now we’ve had this bloke.”
Martin said owning a horse like Red Fifty Three was a great thrill.
“It was a wonderful way to begin the festivities of the weekend,” he said.
“If you asked my dad what was a better highlight; the jersey retirement or Red Fifty Three running, I think he might go Saturday at Ascot.
“We don’t get to taste too much success, but when we do it’s always fun.”
Red Fifty Three is expected to start again later this month.
Image – Western Racepix