Knight must defy history

Cameron Newbold, ALBANY ADVERTISERAlbany Advertiser
Shining Knight, pictured here winning the Belmont Sprint last year, will run in Sunday’s Mongrup Stud Sprint (1300m).
Camera IconShining Knight, pictured here winning the Belmont Sprint last year, will run in Sunday’s Mongrup Stud Sprint (1300m). Credit: Albany Advertiser

Brilliant sprinter Shining Knight will have to defy history to become the first horse to carry 61kg and win Sunday's $100,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint at the Mt Barker Turf Club.

A winner of $706,750 in stake money, Shining Knight was installed as top weight in the region's richest sprint race when he was lumped with 61kg on Tuesday.

No horse in the 30-year history of the Mungrup Stud Sprint has carried more than 59kg and won the race with Impressive Stats carrying 58.5kg to victory in 2005.

In-form metropolitan trainer Grant Williams, who recently won the Perth Cup with star Delicacy and the Kingston Town Classic with Perfect Reflection, has engaged superstar WA jockey William Pike on his sole chance in the race.

Williams was bullish about Shining Knight's chances in the race from barrier two but said carrying 61kg was not ideal.

"The horse is going good," Williams said.

"The weight is a concern but he deserves that.

'There are no races around for him at the moment and that why we are coming down there, we are a bit stuck.

"He's got a good gate, which offsets the weight a bit."

The seven-year-old was sixth behind Buffering in the Group 1 $1m Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in November and then last start finished third beaten less than a length to Sheidel in the listed R.S Crawford Stakes (1000m).

Williams gave the Blackfriars gelding a 950m barrier trial at Lark Hill on Monday where he finished second to help prepare for the sprint feature.

"We just trialled him on Monday because he's going to 1300m and it's been a month between runs," Williams said.

"He had a good blow out.

"He is really looking to stretch out and I think the 1000 to 1200m are too short."

In-form Lindsey Smith galloper Reflectance is considered a strong chance in the race by Williams will be partnered by hoop Shaun Meeres from gate 10.

Last year's Fitzpatrick Plate winner Dream Lifter will be looking to give Paul Hunter his second win in the race with Mitchell Pateman aboard.

The speedy Danehill Express gelding will carry just 55kg but will have to overcome barrier 11.

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