ILHA Bela (photo) rewarded her supporters with an impressive win over 1800m in a Conditions Plate for Fillies and Mares at Turffontein on Tuesday evening.
The 5-2 favourite quickened well off a slow pace to hit the front, but wanted to loaf when she saw daylight, so Anthony Delpech had to change his whip hand to keep Ilha Bela’s mind on the task at hand. She came away to win by 1.75-lengths from Enchanted Kingdom.
Said assistant trainer Mathew de Kock: “All of us expected more from Ilha Bela in the big races recently but in hindsight she had a tough task, having to race from poor draws against the best horses in the country. It was a question of finding the right race for her, which we did here. She’s in good form, she will win more as the season goes on.”
Ilha Bela is by Fort Wood from Ilha Da Vitoria and she’s owned by Mary Slack.
Delpech had earlier won a race for the stable on Tripp-colt, Soldiersailor, successful in a 1200m Maiden Plate at Clairwood. He’s owned in partnership by Mike de Kock, the Joostes, Bernard Kantor and Drakenstein Stud (nominee Mrs Gaynor Rupert).