5 Win Saturday - Bellatrix Star Beautiful

Date: 3 Sep 2023

5 Win Saturday - Bellatrix Star Beautiful


Worthy of favouritism, Bellatrix Star (2 f Star Witness – Alana’s Party, by Exceed and Excel) debuted with victory in the $25,000 Wanganui Chronicle Maiden 2YO 800 metres on Saturday at Wanganui.


The first race of the new season for two-year-olds, Te Akau Racing won the corresponding race in 2019 with Cool Aza Beel (Savabeel), who subsequently became the fourth of seven consecutive Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) winners for the stable, before also winning the Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), and now stands at stud in Australia.

Last year the stable had success with Rubicon Crossing (Rubick) and similarly to her, Bellatrix Star was also purchased in conjunction by David Ellis CNZM and Fortuna Racing manager John Galvin, who syndicated the filly.

In her sole trial on 1 August at Te Rapa, Bellatrix Star camped behind two leaders, cornered well, and let down strongly under minimal urging to win, and rider Michael McNab was keen to continue his association.

While drawing the outside (6) had some drawbacks, ridden conservatively appeared the right approach and although requiring full stretch to claim the pacemaker, Hard Attack (All Too Hard), McNab showed an element of confidence in his charge. 

Scoring by a nose, with over four lengths to second, Bellatrix Star ran 800 metres in 46.4 on footing upgraded to Soft7 and paid $1.50 & $1.20 on the NZ TAB tote.

“Even though she won by a short margin, it was most impressive given the way she got it done,” said co-trainer Mark Walker, who during a record-breaking previous season of 203 wins, he had 29 two-year-old runners, 11 individual winners, 21 wins, 21 seconds, and 12 thirds. 

“She had to do it the tough way, getting back and running down the leader, and it’s not that easy over only 800 metres. 

“It was a lovely ride of Michael’s, giving her such an educational sort of ride and that will be great experience for her going forward. 

“She’ll have a little break now at Te Akau Stud. I think she’ll come back bigger and stronger and I certainly feel she is a Karaka Million 2YO type of filly. 

“There is a lot of upside with her and she has the size and scope to really train on.”

Boasting a speedy pedigree, Bellatrix Star was purchased for $80,000 by Ellis and Galvin in January at the Karaka 2023 Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Phoenix Park, and owned by Fortuna Bellatrix Star Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin).

“There’s some 50-odd in the syndicate and we had about 20 here on course, so a really good showing, and even some from Colville, at the top of the Coromandel Peninsula,” Galvin said.

“Things didn’t go all her way. She was a bit unsettled early in the run, but Michael (McNab) got her balanced, asked her for an effort turning for home, and although Hard Attack gave us a bit of a fright, in the end our girl did enough to win.

“It’s probably the first time she’s ever been off the bridle and she’d have learned a lot from that. 

“It was a lovely ride by Michael and it’s why we put him on. He’s a professional and knows how to get the very best out of horses. 

“Her work was really good leading into the trial on 2 August at Te Rapa, jump outs have been good, too, and she worked sensationally on Tuesday. So there was a lot of confidence in the camp. 

“But of course they were all new, all on debut, and just hard to line up.

“She’s Karaka Million registered, probably now qualified for the race in January with the stake money from today, so we’ll just work backwards from that, give her a break and set her up for a couple of races leading into the KM.”

Stallion Star Witness (Starcraft) was a dominant winner of the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) down the straight at Flemington, before becoming a successful sprint sire in Australia.

His son Star Turn, winner of the Schillaci Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) is a very good young sire in Australia, while his fillies Global Glamour (Star Witness) was a dual Group One winner of the Flight Stakes and Caulfield Guineas, both at a mile, and Swift Witness won the Silver Shadow (Gr. 2, 1200m).

Grand-sire of the filly, Starcraft (Soviet Star) is well known in New Zealand, winning two legs of the Group One Triple Crown at Hawkes Bay, winning Group One races in Australia, France, and England, and becoming a World Champion Turf Miler.

Dam Alana’s Party is by Australian Champion Sire and leading broodmare sire Exceed and Excel (Danehill), who made a name for himself over two decades of world racing and breeding – just an extraordinary sire whose winners have numbered over 5000, 205 stakes winners, including 17 individual Group One winners.

Grand-dam The Party Stand, by Stradbroke (Gr. 1, 1400m) winner Thorn Park (Spinning World), was an impressive winner from 1200m – 2000m, at her best around middle distances and included the N.Z. Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m). 

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “We had a good horse in the stable by Star Witness named Phantom Witness, that won his first two starts over 1200 metres and we probably didn’t see the best of him.

“It’s a rarity to find many fillies out of mares by the Champion Sire Exceed and Excel because breeders tend to keep them.

“This filly has a lot of Exceed and Excel about her and from a dam line that has proved itself at the top level.”

Bellatrix Star was strapped by Te Akau Racing Manager Reece Trumper.

“I’d like to thank the team at the Main Barn and Little Barn for their education of this filly, she’s an absolute professional,” Trumper said. 


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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