The phone conversation with Bendigo horse trainer Brendon Hearps went something like this.
"G'day Hearpsy, Adam Bourke here, congrats on the win of Vungers at the Valley on Friday night. Have you got five minutes for a chat about it?".
Hearps is not overly comfortable with doing media interviews, so I wasn't sure he'd give me much.
"Bourkey, old son, good timing I've just unloaded the truck."
I thought it was a pretty reasonable summation to think he'd unloaded a young horse.
"Have you got another star in the paddock?"
In a tough week where the seriousness of coronavirus has hit us all, what followed made me laugh and still brings a smile to my face now.
"Nah, not another horse, just been down to stock up with one of the owners of Vungers,'' Hearps said.
Toilet paper? Food? Horse feed?
"After Vungers won the other night we thought we'd better stock up. We've been to Dan Murphy's and bought 27 slabs,'' Hearps continued.
"I don't understand all this panic buying of toilet paper. There's plenty of that.
"It will only take one brewery worker to get coronavirus and they'll shut the whole brewery down.
"I've just unloaded nine slabs out the back. I'll be okay for a while."
I'm pretty sure Hearps' "for a while" is not as long as most would take to consume nine slabs, but you can't blame him for wanting to enjoy a few beers at home during a period of uncertainty for everyone.
Particularly, on the back of Vungers' success at Moonee Valley and what Hearps has been through in the past 12 months.
With Bendigo boy Brad Rawiller in the saddle, Vungers scored a tough on-pace win over 1600m - his fourth career victory from 25 starts.
"He's no superstar but he has a crack,'' Hearps said of Vungers.
"He's been a bit unlucky. He probably should have won his first three starts (this campaign).
"I'm just really happy for the horse. He deserved the win. He gives his heart and soul this horse."
Next stop could be next Saturday's feature event at Bendigo the Golden Mile.
"I'll put him in at Adelaide on the same day and we'll head over there if the Golden Mile is too strong,'' he said.
"The horse is going really well. He came back in looking magnificent and all he's done has trained on and trained on.
"He might be looking for 2000m now."
Vungers' win last week was even sweeter because Hearps has been forced to scale down his training operation.
Two months ago he had the index finger on his right hand amputated.
Hearps had worked as a barrier attendant for years up until March 19 last year when he injured his finger at a race meeting.
"There was a big horse playing up in the gates and I tried to release the gates to let him out, but the horse kicked the gates and sliced my finger in half,'' Hearps said.
"I had three operations and then the fourth operation they had to amputate it."
Hearps has dispersed most of his horses to other stables, but he's kept Vungers and an unraced two-year-old named Zoutons, who is the son of his smart sprinting mare Umgeton.
Hearps and Umgeton's owners keep every second foal the mare produces.
Zoutons' full-brother was sold for $200,000 at the recent Melbourne Inglis Sales.
Umgeton and the sire Zoustar were both renowned for their speed.
"He's shaping up like he'll be a miler,'' Hearps said of Zoutons.
"In his second gallop in his life he did work alongside Vungers and kept up with him."
The finger amputation cost Hearps some horses, but it didn't cost him his sense of humour.
"I had a lot of trouble opening my stubbies for a while, but I've perfected it now."
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