Bela-Bela looks hard to beat

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

BELA-BELA looks set to win the sec­ond Gr 1 of her ca­reer in the Maine Chance Farms Pad­dock Stakes over 1 800m at Ke­nil­worth on Satur­day, but be­yond her it looks to be one of the most com­pet­i­tive re­newals in re­cent times and none of her eleven op­po­nents can be writ­ten off.

Bela-Bela showed in her sea­sonal reap­pear­ance in a Con­di­tions Plate over 1 400m she re­tains all of her con­sid­er­able class.

On Satur­day from a good draw of six, in the sup­port­ing fea­ture to the L’Or­marins Queen’s Plate, she will be hard to beat un­der An­ton Mar­cus over her likely ideal trip.

Safe Har­bour is the short­est priced three-year-old in the race. In the Gr 1 WSB Cape Fil­lies Guineas she was cut down late by Just Sen­sual.

This long-strid­ing daugh­ter of Gr 1 SA Derby and Gr 1 Daily News 2 200 win­ner Elu­sive Fort should en­joy the step up in trip on pedi­gree and seems to have thrived in Cape Town.

She would have had enough time to re­cover from her first two Cape Town starts, which in­cluded vic­tory in the R2,5mil­lion Lanz­erac Ready To Run Stakes over 1 400m.

We­i­chong Mar­wing keeps the ride and they have a plum draw of two.

Sail jumped from a wide draw of 13 in the Cape Fil­lies Guineas and was taken into a handy po­si­tion.

She was over­taken by two or three in the straight, but was fight­ing back at the line, giv­ing the im­pres­sion she would stay this trip.

Her dam Cutty Sark, by Fort Wood, won over 1 400m and pro­duced the de­cent sprinter by Sev­enth Rock, Rock On Baby. How­ever, Sail’s sire Phi­lan­thropist did win a Gr 3 over 1 900m. Un­for­tu­nately, Sail has an­other tough draw of ten.

Fi­nal Judge­ment by Jud­pot had to be eased when squeezed out be­tween the rail and an­other horse in the Cape Fil­lies Guineas and she then shifted out­ward which cost her more ground. How­ever, she then used long strides to make up ground and un­der the cir­cum­stances fin­ished a de­cent 4,35 length eighth. She has the same draw of seven here.

Whose That Girl

Whose That Girl by Gi­tano Her­nando was run­ning on well from near last in the Cape Fil­lies Guineas when she was com­pletely taken out.

She still man­aged to come back to run a 5,35 length tenth. Three weeks later she con­verted favouritism when well weighted in a Grad­u­a­tion Plate over 1 600m, run­ning on well again, so should get the trip.

She is well drawn in four with in-form MJ Byleveld up, and is likely bet­ter than her 90 merit rat­ing sug­gests.

Among the older horses Che­vauchee, an Aus­tralian-bred by Hugh Cha­parral, has al­ways pos­sessed a lot of class.

Her ca­reer has had one or two in­ter­rup­tions and she now gets a chance at last to prove how good she is. On pedi­gree and run­ning style she should get this trip. She failed to win the Listed Jet Master Stakes over 1 600m last time in a small field, de­spite of­fi­cially be­ing 0,5kg bet­ter off with the 90 merit rated win­ner Fifty Cents.

How­ever, the lat­ter was sub­se­quently sup­ple­mented for the Queen’s Plate. Fur­ther­more, Che­vauchee was likely too handy in the Jet Master Stakes and now has her third run af­ter a lay­off. She is likely to be dropped out from a wide draw and her sup­port­ers will be hop­ing to see her pro­duce a strong fin­ish un­der Greg Cheyne and defy her 98 merit rat­ing.

Tahini fin­ished a close third in the Gr 2 Ipi Tombi Chal­lenge in her penul­ti­mate start over 1 600m at Turf­fontein when stay­ing on late and ear­lier had a vic­tory over Cape Fil­lies Guineas third-placed Quer­ari Fal­con.

The form of the Ipi Tombe has been franked and be­ing by Sil­vano she should be im­prov­ing.

In her first Cape start over the Pad­dock Stakes course and dis­tance she wasn’t dis­graced fin­ish­ing 5,55 lengths be­hind the classy Whisky Baron when re­ceiv­ing just 0,5kg.

This small filly is drawn well in five and S’Manga Khu­malo is up, but she will have to step up again.

Nightin­gale was a touch un­lucky in last sea­son’s Woolav­ing­ton 2 000, but still man­aged a strong-fin­ish­ing 1,85 length third.

Bela-Bela prob­a­bly won that race eas­ier than the mar­gin sug­gests, but Nightin­gale will be im­prov­ing be­ing by Sil­vano and looks to have en­joyed a good prepa­ra­tion.

She fin­ished well with long strides for sec­ond in the Gr 3 Vic­tress Stakes over the 1 800m Pad­dock Stakes course and dis­tance last time out.

She now has her third run af­ter a lay­off from a tricky draw of nine. How­ever, sta­ble jockey Grant van Niek­erk has opted to ride an­other Sil­vano filly Sil­ver Moun­tain, who needs lit­tle in­tro­duc­tion and has been priced up sec­ond favourite.

She could be a big threat from a draw of three as she should start en­joy­ing this trip this sea­son.

The Vic­tress Stakes was won by the hon­est Royal Air Force filly Good­time Girl and Gavin Ler­ena will help her over­come a high draw of eleven.

Star Ex­press fin­ished 1,35 lengths be­hind third-placed Be­laBela in last year’s Pad­dock Stakes and in her first run for ten months last time she fin­ished just 0,4 lengths be­hind Bela-Bela over 1 400m at level weights, a fine ef­fort. How­ever, she ob­vi­ously hasn’t en­joyed an ideal prepa­ra­tion. Icy Fire was stay­ing on in the Vic­tress for a 3,25 length fifth but looks held.

The pres­ti­gious race is im­por­tant for stud value and will pro­vide an in­trigu­ing cur­tain raiser for the Queen’s Plate.

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