A day after delivering the eulogy at his brother Guy’s funeral, Jamie Walter was back at the track as a winner when Sir Moments made a last stride lunge to win the Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Walter remembered his brother after Sir Moments got the stride in to beat the Gai Waterhouse-trained pair Liberty’s Choice and Ryker as noses and heads separated the first five across the line, while another three were within a length of the winner.
“It has been a tough week. I was very close to Guy and I hope he is watching up there,” Walter said. “I came here knowing we had a good horse and knowing we were a chance but he sprinted so well and quickly. It was amazing.”
Young trainer Steve O'Dea earmarked the group 2 Guineas for Sir Moments after the gelding won The Phoenix, a listed race for two-year-olds, on the same day last year.
“He was an immature, leggy thing last year and we thought in time he would turn out to be a miler and do something like this,” O’Dea said. “He has done that today when he had no right to.”
O’Dea has been working with Walter’s Proven Thoroughbreds for five years after buying a tried horse, Go Cart, from them.
“I can’t say enough about what Jamie has done for me,'' O'Dea said. ''It is great to give him something like this in such a hard time for him. Being able to talk to someone like Guy was a great thing for me when he came up here and I think everyone who met him is missing him.”
It was remarkable effort from Sir Moments, which had nowhere to go for much of the straight and was three lengths off the leader at the 200m mark.
“At the 200m, I was on the fence and I didn’t think I was going to get a run,” jockey Tim Bell said. ”He got into a run and kept coming, but he was getting his head up. The run I finally got wasn’t that big and it really wasn’t there but he got it, and once he did, he went bang. I didn’t think I was going to get there and then on the line I knew he had won.”
Waterhouse’s racing manger Adrian Bott said he thought that the stable had won the Guineas.
“I wasn’t sure if it was Ryker or Liberty’s Choice, but I thought we had won,” he said. “But if we did have to lose to a horse of Jamie Walter’s this week, it seems right.”
Tim Clark, who rode Ryder, which led until the last two strides and ran third summed up the busy finish. “I thought I was going to win but I never thought I was home,” Clark said. “He is very tough and it was a great effort but there were a couple better than him.”
The story Sir Moments lifts Jamie Walter's spirits after digging deep to win Queensland Guineas first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.