Jaded Prebble rues the ones that got away
Brett Prebble dominated the Jockey Challenge tally with a haul of 50 points, including a double on Eagle Regiment and Peppermint, but a brace of minor placings took some of the sheen off yesterday's performance and left the Australian ace to ponder what a huge day it might have been.
Prebble was at his hard-riding best as he lifted each of his nine runners to the post, but narrow misses on Champions Mile runner-up Lucky Nine, Supreme Winner and Familists frustrated the rider, who clearly had the scent of victory in his nostrils.
'I tell you what, I'll be icing up the shoulder after today, I was in a close finish in nearly every race,' Prebble said. 'It was disappointing to get nailed in close ones on Supreme Winner and Familists, but gee Lucky Nine was brave in defeat, it was a very gusty run and I think he'll come back next year and be the champion miler - better than Beauty Flash this year.'
Prebble managed to keep his sense of humour on Supreme Winner as good friend Olivier Doleuze and Viva Freedom nailed him on the line, with Doleuze turning to give a cheeky salute after he got the result in a driving finish to the Leipzig Handicap.
Prebble didn't have to wait long to get his pay-back though, and outrode Doleuze to reverse the result in the following event on the Caspar Fownes-trained Peppermint.
'It was funny, Olivier gave me a bit of a fist pump over the line in the previous race, but the placings were reversed in the next so I made sure he knew who had won,' Prebble said. 'If it was 1,400m race today, Peppermint would win by two and look impressive, but he probably wasn't ready for the mile just yet. He's going to be a better horse next season, he has good raw ability, but he just doesn't know how to use it yet.
'I was very happy to get him to the outside straight away, because he doesn't like it inside horses when he can get cluttered up.'
Peppermint held on to beat Super Bobo and claim the Munich Handicap (1,600m) by a short head - and, but Prebble is firmly of the belief the horse will be better suited back at 1,400m, for now at least.
'I'd be happy to see him drop back to a fast run seven furlong race, that's my gut feel on where he'd be best placed at this stage, and Caspar watching it probably felt the same afterwards,' Prebble said. 'You wouldn't have wanted the race to be two more strides because he would have been there on a plate for the others to swamp him.'
Prebble's other success came on the heavily backed Eagle Regiment, who proved a class above his rivals with an impressive two-length win over Super Goodies.
'Eagle Regiment is a lovely horse. If the owners can be patient and let Manfred train the horse the way he needs to be trained, he'll really re-pay them,' Prebble said.
'He went through his gears quick, once he changed strides he really got motoring, but you want him to be beating that opposition like he did today, the second horse looks like he has some potential, but Star Legend has had a 100 runs and he is what he is.'