Almost 12 months ago Peter Hall was being asked questions whether he would consider retiring from the saddle.
Since that time he has gone on to win the Broome Cup, Perth Cup, Western Australian Cup and yesterday he added the Darwin Cup to his ever-growing trophy cabinet.
Hall has never been more content than he is now in the caper.
Ihtsahymn lived up to his reputation as a Group 1 winner in taking out yesterday’s $200,000 Darwin Cup (2000m), the first West Australian horse to achieve that feat.
It capped off a near perfect weekend for Hall and trainer Rob Gulberti, who teamed up with Roger The Roman to run second in the Palmerston Sprint on Saturday.
Hall said the Darwin Cup vindicated his decision to keep riding and shelve any retirement discussion.
“I don’t think I’ve ridden better or enjoying it more,” he told TABradio.
“I remember this time last year everyone kept asking me ‘when I was going to retire’ or maybe I should retire.
“I came out and won the Broome Cup and it was so satisfying, it just gave me that kick.
“I’m getting such a buzz out of it and my body is still good.”
When an emotional Gulberti spoke on TABradio prior to the Darwin Cup he said Ihtsahymn and Roger The Roman were the best two horses he had put a saddle on.
Hall said winning a Darwin Cup had been a plan he and Gulberti had for quite some time and added it was a surprise it paid off so quickly with the 2013 Kingston Town Classic winner.
“Coming to Darwin last year Guli and I wanted to stamp ourselves and try and win a Darwin Cup,” he said.
“We didn’t think it would be 12 months later, but it meant a lot to everyone.
“What a remarkable horse to bounce back into form like he has…he’s got a lot of charisma.”
Hall said Ihtsahymn had likely come to the end of his campaign and didn’t expect the nine-year-old would run in next week’s Broome Cup, where he would be forced to carry a significant weight impost.
The veteran jockey said Roger The Roman was still a chance to run in next Tuesday’s Broome Sprint (1300m).
Roger The Roman finished fourth in the Broome Sprint last year with 63kg and is expected to be high up in the weights for this year’s edition when weights are released tomorrow.