The good crowd at Belmont were not disappointed when two young in-form gallopers fought tigerishly for supremacy down the length of the home staight in the WA Day Plate (1300m).
Trading Day held a long neck advantage on the winning post but the battle was resumed, minutes later, in the stewards room.
Pat Carbery, rider of Cool Trade argued that Victorian apprentice, Luke Dittman, on Trading Day, had bumped his mount at the 300m.
Carbery told stewards that the bump, and the subsequent outward drift of Trading Day had forced him from three off the fence to about eight or nine wide at the finish.
“I was forced to switch my line and had to stop riding and straighten my filly a few times,” Carbery said.
Dittman said contact had not been made and that Carbery had plenty of opportunity to mow his horse down if good enough.
Carbery, in reply, said that there had been a chain reaction to outside horses (including third placed Fiddlers Elbow) and that Cool Trade had returned with lacerations to her hind legs as a consequence of being forced to change her running line.
After a lengthy delay stewards concurred with Carbery’s judgement and reversed the placings.
Both Cool Trade and Trading Day were going for a sixth career win in this race.
Cool trade’s trainer Alan Mathews said his classy filly was going to the spelling paddock after doing everything asked her in this campaign which had yielded five straight wins.
Hoofnote: Dittman replaced Willie White, who had won on Trading Day at his previous start, to take advantage of a weight claim.
BELMONT SPRINT: Owner Bob Peters and Grant Williams were grinning shortly after the start of the Belmont Sprint (1400m) when five horses vied for the lead.
This left their horse Elite Belle (William Pike) alone behind them and she was not trapped on the inside from her barrier one, as connections had feared.
Elite Belle showed her class and powered home to a two length victory over Kalahaar, edging out another fancied runner, Checkpoint.
“She was very unlucky last start, when held up for a run and finishing second in the Roma Cup but she made up for it today. The rest made it easy for us at the start,” Peters said.
Williams is interested in sending Elite Belle to the East after her impressive sixth career win.
BANJO’s DAY: Leading apprentice Ben Paterson made it a treble of wins when he rode a different type of race to his two earlier wins. They had come after finishing strongly from the rear.
However, on California Valley in the Celebrate WA Handicap (1600m) he dashed to the front early and then in a spirited duel with Kim Mini won by half a head. Gladstone finished fast for third.
Trainer Bruce Watkins said his charge did not have much of a sprint. “We decided to let him roll early today and he dug deep to hold them off.”
Paterson has three more wins left before he becomes a jockey.