Pukekohe Win No.3 - A Bonny Belle

Date: 23 Feb 2022

Pukekohe Win No.3 - A Bonny Belle


As he did on Sunday (20 February) at Hastings, Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards trained three winners from limited numbers on 23 February at Pukekohe.

After Midnight Special (Excelebration) and A Little Bit Bossy (Rock ‘n' Pop) each won stylishly, La Flora Belle (4 m Iffraaj - Tsarina Belle, by Stravinksy) ended with a powerful display in the $15,000 Maiden 1600 metres, while aboard all three it provided Opie Bosson with his fourth win on the card.

It was a smart piece of riding by Bosson, pushing on from outside gate (11) to register intent alongside race favourite and leader Contemplation. But it became apparent rounding for home that La Flora Belle was travelling considerably better and once released she machined away to score by win by four and a half lengths.

Having run home solidly from well back in a Maiden 1600 metres on 2 February at Te Rapa, in which rival Contemplation (above) finished third, La Flora Belle was also strongly supported to return $2.80 & $1.30 on NZ TAB tote. Sponsored by Franklin Private Hospital Gallop, on Good3 footing, she ran the 1600 metres in a solid 1:35.0.

“She had been building nicely, deserved that, and we are very happy with how she went,” Richards said. “She didn't have a lot luck first-up in January when caught wide, and she then drew off the track second-up at Te Rapa, where she got back in a hopeless position but made good steady ground.

“She'd been to Taranaki (18 Feb.), when the races were called off and we were keen to come up to Pukekohe.

“I discussed the bad draw with Marie (Leicester) and she was happy to chance her arm, with Opie on, and thankfully we did. She was able to get across without spending too much petrol, travelled nicely and looked the winner a long way from home.

“Marie, her daughter Maryanne (Robertson), and their friends involved will be absolutely thrilled and it's fair to say they have a mare that can work through the grades.

“Laura Macnab and the team at the Uni Barn have done a great job with her, and she is a mare that is a lot more mature this time around.”

Adding to a favourable result, 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 retired winner of 14 Group 1 races, 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.

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

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 seven races.

Breeding a horse like Melody Belle is something dreams are made of, especially for a family (Sarten) that commenced the breed in the late 1940s. It is also a family that keeps on giving and both the manner of victory and potential exuded by La Flora Belle is evidence enough of more to come.

La Flora Belle was strapped by Rylee Sheehan.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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