Shining Knight gave the powerful triumvirate of trainer Grant Williams, jockey Peter Hall and owner Bob Peters with another feature race success in the Belmont Sprint (1400m) on Saturday.
While all the pre race talk centred on Fuchsia Bandana and the scratching of Luckygray with a foot abscess, Shining Knight snuck under the guard and attention of supporters.
Fuchsia Bandana , an unlucky third in the Roma Cup, was a rock solid even money favourite on the TAB and firmed into odds on with bookmakers.
But the Darren McAuliffe-trained four-year-old, who was engaged in a spirited duel with pacemaker, Dawn Approach for the majority of the race, weakened to third.
Dawn Approach, who defied any doubt about running out a strong 1400m, was game in defeat and fought on courageously for second.
Appreciating a hot tempo, Shining Knight settled a touch worse than midfield and was one off the fence before Hall peeled out at the top of the straight.
The Blackfriars gelding grinded home strongly to chase down Dawn Approach, shading him near the line to score by just under a length.
It was sweet revenge for Shining Knight who ran second to Dawn Approach in last month’s Listed Northam Stakes (1100m).
“He has done a great job for us, but I think the way the race was run suited him,” said Bob Peters.
“I was quite pleased how it panned out in front because with most of the races today it’s been hard to come from behind.”
Williams, who combined with Peters and the ill fated Elite Belle to win last year’s Belmont Sprint, said Shining Knight would attempt a feature race double.
“If everything works out he will press ahead to the Hyperion Stakes (1600m) in a fortnight,” said Williams.
“We will take it one race at a time but I won’t rule out having a crack at the Strickland Stakes (2000m).
Peters Stakes champion, Bass Straight, who ran fourth on his return, was desperately unlucky after getting held up in the straight.
WA Oaks hero, Balmont Girl. also resuming, ran on well from the back of the field but just peaked on her run when placed fifth.
Apprentice Jordan Turner stole the riding honours with a running double after he led on Virtual Trader and timed his run with Saxy Grace.
Justin Warwick’s high opinion of Wink And A Nod was further strengthened when the McFlirt mare scored a comfortable victory in race five.
It helped ease the disappointment of stable mate Bradford Badboy who failed to flatter when unplaced behind Virtual Trader.
Adam Durrant’s Saxy Grace, once considered a bridesmaid, has now shed that tag after posting her second consecutive win this campaign.
Lou Luciani opened the meeting with a bang when Snack Attack proved too strong for Sprit Bird after finding the front for his rider, Paul Harvey.
Luciani’s son, Dion, shared the spotlight with his dad when, Civil Rights, charged home from near last for apprentice, Kate Witten.
Astute punters cashed in on Flying Roar who improved sharply on his first up run when conditions didn’t suit
John Betts has found the key to The Dankster who is racing in rare form and disposed of a pretty handy line up in the last.