Many punters believed owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters would record their eighth win in the TABtouch-Perth Cup (2400m).
Many of those punters probably couldn’t have predicted Star Exhibit would win his second in the cerise and white colours.
The Peters’ broke Paddy Connolly’s record as the most successful owners in Perth Cup history, with Star Exhibit saluting at $31 in today’s running of the feature.
The veteran galloper produced a performance equal to, if not superior, to his Cup win on New Year’s Eve in 2016.
Jockey Peter Hall settled the seven-year-old at the rear of the field, before he picked his way through the field and wore down race favourite Action.
Action loomed large at the top of the straight, as leading jockey William Pike booted him to the front, but couldn’t hold out Star Exhibit.
Star Exhibit, who had gone 11 starts without a win prior to today, continued a terrific carnival for the Peters’, with Bob labelling it as his most successful carnival.
Mr Peters, who had five runners in the race, said he was relieved to finally record his eighth win in the race, but didn’t expect it to be Star Exhibit.
“He was probably the least likely of our horses to win,” he said.
“He’s gradually been coming along.
“In his last race, I think he ran the second fastest last 600m of the race, so I started to think he was just about there.”
The Peters’ runners occupied three of the top four placings, a feat he has achieved in three of the past four editions of the race.
It was a third Perth Cup triumph for both Hall and trainer Adam Durrant.
Hall, who carried the same colours to victory in the 2016 Cup with Delicacy, said his confidence grew quietly throughout the week, then again during the race.
“This horse had a little niche in his work,” he said.
“I ended up getting on Gatting’s back, so I had a beautiful run.
“I took a few shortcuts on the corner and he’d done enough to beat Action.”
Hall, who rode his dad Alan’s horse Black Tom to victory in the 2006 Perth Cup, said the race meant a lot to him.
“It’s just been a dream…just to have so much success,” he said.
“I really have to thank Bob and Sandra Peters…they’re the ones that give me rides.”
Mr Peters labelled Action’s as ‘brave’ and admitted he thought he would win in the run to the finish, while he said fourth placegetter Mississippi Delta had too difficult a run.
Prize Catch finished third, while top-weight Gatting finished sixth, with his jockey Damian Lane describing it as a ‘tough run’.
Durrant and the Peters’ teamed up earlier in the day to take out the Group 3 La Trice Classic (1800m) with tough mare Celebrity Dream.
Durrant initially said ‘he would walk to China’ if Celebrity Dream was able to run out the 1800m trip, originally hoping to run the mare in the Listed Summer Scorcher.
Celebrity Dream completed another successful campaign, after she took out the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic, while she also finished second in the Jungle Mist Classic.