With the news that William Pike will be home shortly to defend his lead on the WA Jockeys Premiership it may have been thought that Peter Knuckey’s quest to catch his bête noire may have been mission impossible.
If so someone forgot to tell Knuckey and the man dubbed “light fingers,” by two trainers (a compliment to his soft hands not implying he is a thief), booted home a treble at Belmont on Wednesday July 11.
This took Knuckey to 59 winners, still trailing Pike by eight, with only this month’s metropolitan meetings left.
It would have been hard enough without Pike returning from Hong Kong but it is harder to see that jockey remaining on 67 wins if he comes back for the last few meetings.
Still, Knuckey is “dying hard” and he started the meeting by scoring handsomely enough with Karratha Crossing in the first race and then winning later in the day with Grandstand (race 5) and Mia China Doll (race 6).
Adam Durrant continues to roll towards an inevitable Trainers Premiership victory. He landed a double with Knuckey’s first winner and November Red, ridden by heavyweight jockey Peter Hall, another rider in splendid touch.
John Price is a trainer that has returned to racing after an absence of two years and it has taken him some time to re-establish himself but he had a win with Bawcatme (Clint Harvey) who came from the second half to win going away.
Price also had the second place getter, Choisime, in the first race.
The two damsels, trainer Sharon Taylor and apprentice jockey Hayley Diener, who have combined so effectively with Solsay in recent times, once again scored this time with Love You Like That, by a short head over Reale Fury (Shaun McGruddy) in the tightest finish of the day.
Rebecca Nairn had a welcome return to the winners circle when Belle Francine (Joseph Azzopardi) was too strong for Lady Ladette and Yerakina.
Nairn’s last winner, Bendit, was mid-April, at Pinjarra, and her 4 winners in the last year have consisted of two in the city plus two provincials.
The David Harrison trained Don’t Doubt Buster (Shaun O’Donnell) also had a wait for his second victory but was convincing in overwhelming Bizet near the post.
Warwick Bradshaw won a lower class stayers race when Grandstand prevailed over Shot of Glory in a spirited finish, by a short neck, in a race run in a good tempo.
Knuckey had him just off the pace and bought him home with a well judged run.
Mia China Doll made it 2 wins out of 2 starts and seemingly Simon Miller has another potent force in his stable.