Balf makes the right choice
A QUEENSLAND winter looks to have reinvigorated quality galloper Balf’s Choice, who bounce backed to winning form at Morphettville yesterday for the first time since last year’s Seymour Cup.
The Ryan Balfour-trained gelding put the writing on the wall with a slashing return to racing behind Lord Sundowner a fortnight ago.
His class was telling yesterday in upstaging race favourite Hussybay.
“I spelled him up in Queensland. I was lucky the owners backed that decision – it was something Dad and I used to talk about,’’ Balfour said.
“He pre-trained up there with Billy Healey, who is a young trainer going places. The horse has come back to us in great order.’’
Balf’s Choice was last in the small field of four before coming around horses and holding off Hussybay, who took an inside run in the straight but couldn’t match the winner.
Balfour said there were no big plans for the dual country cup winner.
“I think we’ll keep him around the same trip,’’ Balfour said. “Even though he’s showing signs he might want a bit further, we’ll just wait and see how that plays out.
“His rating is going to make him pretty hard to place now, so his next outing might be over the border. If he continues to look like he’ll want further, it’s not a bad time of year to be doing so.’’
Balfour said the Birthday Cup and Lord Reims could be options if Balf’s Choice, who won his maiden over 2000m at Mildura in 2016, continued to give the impression he was looking for ground.
The gelding named in honour of Balfour’s late father, David, was ridden by Victorian jockey Cory Parish.
Balfour said the 2017 Caulfield Cup-winning rider’s ability to use the whip in his left hand suited Balf’s Choice.
“I thought Cory would be ideal for him. To have a sweeping left-hand whip action is something that definitely works with this horse,’’ he said.
HE’S BACK: Cory Parish’s left-hand whip action gets Balf's Choice home.