BELLE Rose provided her sire, Golden Sword, with his first winner in May last year and with his first Listed success when she bagged the Oaks Trial over 2000m at Turffontein on Saturday, running strongly for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Callan Murray.
Belle Rose had looked the part on form coming into the Oaks Trial, with a fast-finishing fifth to Smiling Blue Eyes in the Gauteng Fillies Guineas on 4 March. That run was good enough to get her a berth in next week’s SA Fillies Classic, but Mathew de Kock said the Oaks Trial was a race too tempting to pass by.
“We looked at the Oaks Trial and thought this was a race that Belle Rose could definitely win and hence we left her in. She is decent, good enough to finish in the money again next week. We’ll see how she returns and how she goes during the week,” said Mathew.
Belle Rose was a R475,000 purchase from the CTS R2R Sale in 2015. She’s a half-sister to star gelding Pierre Jourdan and Champagne Haze, who won Saturday’s Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes.
The stable also sent out the winners of the first two races on the card.
In Race 1 over 1160m, newcomer Mustaaqeem (AUS), romped home by 7.50-lengths under Murray. He’s by Redoute’s Choice from National Colour – a full-brother to recent Hawaii Stakes winner Rafeef and bound to reach similar heights for Sheikh Hamdan.
Mathew commented: “Mustaaqeem is an impressive young horse and he’s been showing us winning work, we fancied him. But that said, he was more impressive on the racetrack than he’s been at home. We’re looking forward to see how he develops.”
Much the same goes for Oh My Darling, who won Race 2 over 1400m under Anthony Delpech. Mat said beforehand that she was fancied to go close after a long rest, and that he thought she would frank the form of her debut third to smart Safe Harbour last July.
Oh My Darling raced handy and skipped clear, quickening nicely. She’s scopy, moves well and should give the partnership of Mary Slack and Fazend Mondesir lots of fun going forward.
Oh My Darling, bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein, is a daughter of Western Winter and Slack’s former KZN Oaks winner, Sweetie Pie.
Headline photo: Belle Rose (nearest camera), holds on under a strong ride from Callan Murray (JC Photos).