The West

A life spent in the racing industry has taught Peter Finger a few lessons about the dos and don'ts of the sport.

Finger, 60, has a gamut of experience in thoroughbreds through jobs as a jockey, track rider, stable foreman, trainer and owner.

Finger saw many a blueblood pass through the stable doors when foreman for trainer George Way and Eddie Montgomery when he trained the mighty Belele.

So when Finger received a phone call offering him $100,000 for Lee Rani, after she suffered her first defeat to Luckygray following two impressive wins, his initial instinct was to grab the cash.

"I couldn't believe it," Finger said. "I was on this lonely road heading towards Esperance and I get a call from a bloke offering me $100,000 for Lee Rani.

"I did not know the bloke or how he got my number.

"First I thought $100,000 is a lot of money and to take it. Then I thought I may not get another horse as good as Lee Rani and said no.

"The bloke went to $150,000 and I told him I would have to contact the other owners."

Fingers' partners agreed with him and their gamble has flourished, with Lee Rani claiming his sixth win in a 1000m handicap at Belmont Park at the weekend.

The Kendal Star five-year-old has earned almost $200,000 and given her connections another two years of fun.

"There is still a few more wins in her," Finger said.

"She could have a crack at those early mares races (Jungle Mist and Jungle Dawn classics) later in the year."

·Premier jockey William Pike has picked up three rides at a low-key Belmont meeting on Saturday after returning from an overseas trip.

Pike missed last week's annual Kalgoorlie Round, and the winning ride on Boulder Cup winner Belora, when he went to Britain to attend his brother's wedding.

He rides Playhouse Theatre (race one), Kiddy Kat (race five) and Classy Dubai (race eight).

·Ned Coldbeck has found a new life in the racing offices of Racing and Wagering WA after increasing weight forced him to quit riding.

Coldbeck, 21, suffered a nasty track fall in June and had tried to make a comeback, but he was unable to reduce his weight.

Coldbeck was sidelined for several months after he fractured three vertebrae in a fall at Pinjarra in March 2011.

The West Australian

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