Jack Milner
3 minute read
3 Jul 2017
10:45 am

Bela-Bela puts up meeting’s most polished performance

Jack Milner

Snaith and Tarry missed the big prize but still scored.

POLISHED PERFORMANCE. Bela-Bela wins the Garden Province Stakes in impressive style. Picture: Gold Circle

Trainers Justin Snaith and Sean Tarry may not have come away with the winner of the Vodacom Durban last Saturday but they still acquitted themselves well at Saturday’s Greyville meeting.

Snaith won the last three races on the card, including the other Grade 1 race on the card, the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes over 1600m with Bela-Bela. While the race might not have been as exciting as the Durban July, the performance of Bela-Bela was one of the pinnacle moments at the meeting.

The majestic manner of her victory, as she glided away from the opposition in the straight was most impressive and she showed herself to be the best filly over 1600m in the country, bar none.

The expected challenge from three-year-olds Just Sensual and Gimme Six never materialised and once Anthony Delpech set the grey filly into the lead 300m from home, it was just a matter of how far. In the end the 21-20 favourite came home by 3.75 lengths with She’s A Giver doing best of the rest and Bella Sonata running on well for third. Gimme Six ran fourth, beaten 4.30 lengths while Just Sensual was never a contender and finished 10th, beaten 7.85.

Joey Ramsden’s charge is a lot better than that run and this effort is best ignored.

“This was the day we were going to show everybody how good this filly really is,” said Snaith of Bela-Bela. “I did enjoy this win. The whole day everybody came up and said to me that Bela-Bela is the banker on the card. So I was so nervous, but I’m so happy for the public that she has arrived.

“We could have gone for the July but she would have had too much weight but this looked the right race to showcase her talent. We’ll look at taking on the boys again at another time.”

Delpech said Bela-Bela has superb on the day. “She was definitely my best ride by far but I’ve never felt her this good. At no stage did I have to fight her, she was switched off. This is the best she’s ever been and it was a special win.”

Snaith went on to win Race 11 with Bishop Bounty (10-1) and Race 12 with Copper Force (6-1 favourite).

Tarry has a wonderful bunch of two-year-olds and it came as no surprise when he won both the Grade 2 features for Juveniles. Desert Rhythm went off favourite at 9-2 for the Gold Circle Golden Slipper for fillies and the outcome was never in doubt. S’manga had her handily placed and once he let her go early in the straight the daughter of Mambo In Seattle built up a sizeable lead and went on to beat Let It Flow (6-1) by one length. Tsessebe (17-1) was drawn widest of all but finished strongly to run another neck back in third. Dennis Drier’s charge is one to follow.

“I was very happy to sit second,” said Khumalo, “and when I asked her to run she responded well.” Tarry had a lot of praise for both horse and jockey. “She’s done nothing wrong and well done to S’manga.

He took the race by the scruff of the neck and won a good race.” The victory of Purple Diamond (20-1) was a lot closer. In fact, it was stable companion Captain And Master who went off favourite at 4-1, but he got blocked out early on and Khumalo ended up too far back.

When Varallo and Anton Marcus took the lead with 200m to run he looked to have the race at his mercy but Varallo stuttered while Purple Diamond, Ancestry and Captain And Master took off down the inside. At the line it was Nooresh Juglall riding Purple Diamond who got the photo finish by a short head, with Ancestry second and Captain And Master beaten just 1.30 lengths into third.

“He’s a very nice horse,” said Tarry. “If you give a horse four starts and he only wins one, people tend to discount him. I took him to Cape Town because I thought he had ability but things didn’t work out for him.”