Belle of Addington

By Garrick Knight

Their match race was the big talking point ahead of today’s Harness Jewels and Belle Of Montana and Princess Tiffany didn’t disappoint.

Commentator Mark McNamara went with Princess Tiffany in a desperately tight finish, but it turned out Belle Of Montana had got her nose in front on the line.

Her trainer, Barry Purdon, was resigned to running second as they went over the line.

“I wasn’t sure, but in the back of my mind was that Mark McNamara never gets it wrong, so I thought she’d got beat.

“But then they put the replay up and everyone sort of gasped and I thought she may actually have got there.

“And I’m just over the moon that she did, thrilled really.”

With the win - her fourth Group 1 of the season - Belle Of Montana likely wrapped up the three-year-old filly of the year title.

Purdon, a veteran of more than 2400 training wins, spoke effusively about the Australian-owned daughter of Bettor’s Delight.

“If you were making a cake that was beautiful, she’d have every ingredient required that made it good.

“She’s got a bit of this, a bit of that, a bit of everything.

“There’s nothing really that she does wrong at all.”

It was another plum Zachary Butcher drive and Purdon says having a man like him in the cart makes all the difference in a big race.

“He’s a super driver, I just couldn’t say enough good things about Zach as a driver.

“He’s a wonderful reinsman.”

Purdon isn’t sure if Belle Of Montana will be shut down for the season or whether she will travel to Brisbane to contest the Queensland Oaks given that’s where her owner, Dean Shannon, lives.

“We’ll just have a talk with Dean, see how she comes through today’s race and then make a call.”

Tony Herlihy continued on his dream day with an unexpected placing behind outsider Dina Brown, who finished on from three back on the pegs for third.

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