Banjup trainer Michael Grantham can look back on a successful Belmont winter season preparing the likes of Peters Investments winners Arcadia Jewel (NZ), Sentimental Hero, Treasured Queen, Noteworthy (NZ) and Antique Miss.
The cerise and white silks also took a road less travelled to Geraldton last Thursday where expensive yearling Best Mood made an auspicious debut in the Red Dust Holdings Maiden (1113m). The Grantham-trained 3yo colt overcame a checkered run in transit for a narrow victory under Joey Azzopardi.
Best Mood topped the 2022 Perth Magic Millions when purchased by agent John Chalmers for $330,000 on behalf of Bob and Sandra Peters. “I didn’t think he would make that much,” Chalmers said at the Swan Valley Sale. “We had a limit but had to keep extending. He’s a big, staying-type with lots of scope.”
Azzopardi had Best Mood travelling like a winner at Geraldton tracking the leader Kimberley Currency until Kyra Yuill sent Viking Forever forward to keep him in pocket. Stewards reported the colt was “impeded for clear running on straightening until the 200m” where he shouldered into the clear and then held off the late challenge of Stay Astern.
“He was first yearling recommended by Liam Peters and proved too good,” Grantham said. “It was a 10 out of 10 ride from Joey and patience was the key.”
Best Mood is a half-brother to four winners and a Playing God full-brother to Mood Goddess who earned black-type when placed at Listed level in the 2020 Natasha Stakes (2200m) at Ascot.
Their dam Moodometer (Pricelessly) won the G3 WA Oaks (2400m) in 2006 and was purchased by Peter Diamond for $16,000 at the Mungrup Stud Dispersal Sale in August 2020. Willaview Park’s Claire Williamson sold Best Mood as agent for Diamond at the 2022 Magic Millions and admitted the price-tag was a nice surprise.
“We knew there were genuine bidders on him and we’re stoked,” she said shortly after the hammer came down at $330,000. “He’s a one-off and an outstanding looking horse.”
Grantham also won city races with the Peters Investments homebreds Frigid and Devoted before they transferred to trainer John Leek at Pakenham. Frigid (Frosted) completed a running double at Sandown and Caulfield while Devoted (Xtravagant) also scored at that same Caulfield meeting on September 2.
“Bob and I are old fellas and don’t get too far ahead of ourselves,” Leek said. “He trusts me with these beautiful horses and it’s very exciting. Frigid just keeps improving and it would be nice to win a Stakes race to improve her value as a broodmare
“She’s the final foal of Fuchsia Bandana (Trade Fair) and has the same potential as her dam at stud.”