Shelton hoping for a real catch

LIKE a fisherman’s tale, it was the one that got away.

It won’t show up in form guides but the John Shelton-trained Double Honour was a last-start winner on its home track at Grafton on May 10.

Unfortunately for Shelton, connections of the three-year-old filly and thousands of punters, the race was deemed void by stewards following an inquiry into a barrier malfunction that, according to starter Rex Kelly, saw horses “come out in dribs and drabs”.

Tomorrow at Grafton, Double Honour backs up in the Brad Hall – Painter – Benchmark 50 Hcp (1000m).

Shelton, a trainer of 25 years standing, reluctantly accepted the steward’s decision.

“That’s the first time that sort of thing has happened to me and hopefully the last,” Shelton said. “It’s bloody hard to win a race at the best of times.

“The barriers worked the race before and the following race but not in the one we wanted.

“We got $7. It was worth a good deal to us all. The owners were, naturally, very disappointed. She didn’t get the BOBS money, prize money and we still had vets’ fees etc.

“There’s not much you can do about it, you’ve just got to accept those things and move on.”

Leading up to tomorrow, Shelton joked with the owners, fellow Grafton trainer Paul Richardson, taxi driver John Campbell, his partner Kay Sutton and Gold Coast-based Jake Clarke, that Double Honour was sure to draw a bad barrier.

“Unlike last time when she drew two, she came up with barrier eight,” Shelton lamented. “I knew she wouldn’t draw good. It’s a different race tomorrow, different field and different rider.

“But she’s bright as a button, worked good on Monday and has tightened right up. I reckon she got away from me a bit during her first two runs then hit peak fitness in the race she won but didn’t.

“I’m happy with her going into tomorrow.”

Adam Hyeronimus was aboard last start, while Shelton’s 4kg claimer Anthony Allen takes over the reins tomorrow.

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