Ken Nicol
2 minute read
26 Jul 2017
12:40 pm

Victory may give Bela-Bela Horse-Of-The-Year status

Ken Nicol

We expect her to get very close to the colts on Saturday, warns Jonathan Snaith.

IN LINE FOR GLORY. Bela-Bela has won two Grade 1 races this season and victory in Saturday's World Sports Be ing Champions Cup over 1800m would make her a strong contender for Horse Of The Year.

Bela-Bela was always destined for greatness.

By champion sire Dynasty and out of multiple stakes producing mare Mystic Spring, expectations would have been high from the moment she was born on 22 October 2012. Especially when she turned out to be a grey, just like her dam’s two most decorated progeny, ill-fated Rabiya, and star filly Secret Of Victoria.

It is fair to say Justin Snaith’s stunning specimen has never disappointed, and she goes to the track a final time in the Champions Cup this Saturday with no less than three Grade 1 victories to her credit.

“As a three-year-old she was very immature and light, and wasn’t ready for races like the Fillies Guineas” was the verdict of stable partner Jonathan Snaith.

“She’s always been extremely sound, but now she’s bigger and much stronger, and we would expect her to get very close to the colts on Saturday”.

When asked to rank her against other top, top class fillies the yard has had such as Captain’s Lover, Dancer’s Daughter, and Ebony Flyer, Snaith was loath to place one above the other. “It’s very hard to compare, especially as all of our other champion fillies raced at five. I think Bela-Bela is still improving, and who knows what she could achieve given an- other year in training,” he said with a hopeful look in his eye. Coincidentally this conversation took place at Kenilworth on Tuesday as we watched Ebony Flyer’s first foal Cot Campbell romp to an extremely impressive Maiden win.

She one has an extremely bright future, but I digress. One of the main motivations for running on Saturday is an at- tempt to secure the Horse-Of-The- Year Equus award, which a third Grade1 win this season and this time against the best males would  surely secure.

She is going out at the peak of her powers, with her two most recent performances arguably being the most impressive of an illustrious career. First she ran on eye-catchingly for third in the Gold Challenge against many of the colts and geldings she will meet again on Saturday.

Then on what was expected to be THE race of July Day she took on the cream of the younger generation Just Sensual and Gimme Six in the Garden Province. In terms of a contest it was an anti- climax and the race became a pro- cession soon a er they turned for home as the grey machine quickly put the race to bed more than 200m out.

Her merit rating was raised to an impressive 112 after that win, and whatever happens on Saturday Varsfontein Stud will have their best red carpet rolled out to welcome her when she takes up residence there in the near future.