Bob Peters was going down the escalator at Belmont, as I was going up, about a week or two after his champion filly Delicacy had done us proud with her two magnificent Group 1 wins at Morphettville (SA).
I asked him whether he had got another sideboard to accommodate the additional ‘fruit.’
(‘More fruit for the sideboard,’ was one of the late Don Scott’s favourite expressions. No, I do not mean Don Scott, former hard man for God’s greatest AFL side, Hawthorn- I mean the late professional punter and writer of Racing Books).
Bob gave me his sphinx like grin, his mind clearly on great breeding unions and important races still to win.
Well, Peters and his wife Sandra were in their customary Winners Circle after the Belmont Sprint (1400m) on May 30, where jockey Peter Hall was reminding everyone that at 48 he was almost reaching his prime. No-one is disagreeing with him, including Danny Mille, a generation older, who surely reckons the best is yet to come for both Hall and himself!
Hall was aboard the Grant Williams trained Shining Knight, for the Peters, in a race reduced in lustre by the scratching of champion, Luckygray (hoof injury).
Hall had Shining Knight slightly worse than midfield, in the one out lane, for most of the race.
With Dawn Approach, and Fuchsia Bandana, vying for the lead, Hall was in a good position to pounce –and he did so with his usual timing, reversing the roles in the Northam Stakes, of last month.
Dawn Approach showed the same fighting spirit he displayed against Luckygray, in the Roma Cup, before succumbing by half a length with Fuchsia Bandana finishing third yet again.
Shining Knight will race in the Hyperion (1600m), in a fortnight, according to trainer Grant Williams.
Balmont Girl (Pat Carbery) racing first up from a spell, loomed in the straight but died on the run, finishing fifth. Expect her to strip fitter and regular rider Shaun O’Donnell will return to ride his ‘second favourite horse’ for the Hyperion. (There are no prizes for guessing who is number one).
Bass Straight, another resuming, was fourth and was held up slightly in the final 100m.