Beautiful Win La Flora Belle

Date: 26 Mar 2022

Beautiful Win La Flora Belle


Impressive last time out, La Flora Belle (4 m Iffraaj - Tsarina Belle, by Stravinksy) waltzed in again winning the $12,000 Stable Books Rating 65 1600 metres on 25 March at Hawera.

La Flora Belle had run home solidly from well back in a Maiden 1600 metres on 2 February at Te Rapa, before winning by four and a half lengths on 23 February at Pukekohe, and then stepping up in grade proved no obstacle for the well-related mare.

Runner-up previously at her only course attempt, over 2000 metres when ending her campaign last October, La Flora Belle teamed up again with the rider on that occasion, Michael McNab, to go one better.

In sizzling form, McNab had ridden three of four prior winners for Te Akau, including Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) and Leaderboard (Street Cry) in St Leger (Listed, 2600m), both last Saturday at Trentham.

From barrier one, he positioned La Flora Belle in the first three and she travelled best when staring down the leader at the 400m. A handy advantage on straightening soon became three lengths and enabled an unchallenged victory.

When placed on the course, La Flora Belle encountered Slow7 footing and Slow8 posed few problems. She ran 1600 metres in 1:39.4 and $3.60 & $1.60 which was pretty good when considering the manner of her previous win.

“I'd been happy with how she'd been going at home and it was another really good win,” said trainer Jamie Richards.

“My gut feeling was that she could handle soft ground and she was given a lovely ride by Michael (McNab).

“He tracked the speed from an inside gate, come out at the top of the straight and she looked the winner a long way from home.

“She hasn't been the easiest mare to train, with some issues tying up and those sorts of things. But we've been very fortunate that Marie Leicester and the ownership group have let us take our time with her.

“She's been a big, rangey, slower maturing sort of mare that just needed time, but she's putting it altogether now and could well develop into a really nice middle distance mare for next season.

“We might give her one more run before the tracks really turn, but we'll be guided by how she does.”

Harbouring solid stats, La Flora Belle has now recorded two firsts, seconds, and thirds from nine starts.

Bred by Marie Leicester, La Flora Belle is owned by herself, Maryanne Robertson, Catheryne Roselli, Louise Beard, Angela Finucane, Jackie Morgan, Martin Marshall, and Heather Mabin.

La Flora Belle is a three-quarter sister to former star stable-mate and dual Horse of the Year Melody Belle (Commands).

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $57,500 at 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, from draft of Haunui Farm, owned by Fortuna Syndications (Mgr: John Galvin), Melody Belle established a new domestic record of 14 Group 1 wins, surpassing 13 by Sunline (Desert Sun), 19 from 41 in total and $4.3 million prize money, before selling as a broodmare for $2.6 million.

Her grand-dam, Empress Belle (Sir Tristram), from which both Tsarina Belle (Stravinsky) and Meleka Belle (Iffraaj) (dam of Melody Belle) stem, left nine winners of 31 races, while to date Tsarina Belle has left three winners of eight races.

Breeding horses like Melody Belle is something dreams are made of, especially for a family (Sarten) that commenced the breed in late 1940s. It is also a family that keeps on giving and La Flora Belle is providing further evidence.

La Flora Belle was strapped by Olivia Hill.

Footnote: The win by La Flora Belle occurred only hours before Gavelhouse Plus sale (online auction) of another family member, Exaltation (Not A Single Doubt), half-sister to Melody Belle.

Also purchased by Ellis as a yearling at Karaka, Exaltation, in foal to Savabeel (Zabeel), won a Rating 74 2000 metres on Matamata Breeder's Stakes Day (26 Feb.), and allowing 120-days following the service date (09-11-2021) she was retired.

Another yearling purchase by Ellis at Karaka, nine time Group 1 winner Avantage (Fastnet Rock), achieved an online world-record $4.1 million when sold last September on


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