Bellabaci shows staying promise

Lightly-raced five-year-old mare Bellabaci won her first race in over a year by winning another restricted class staying event at Sandown Lakeside on Wednesday.

Prior to Wednesday’s race, Bellabaci had not won a race since November 25, 2009 when she won a 0-78 Handicap over 2100 metres at Sandown Lakeside.

And it was over that track and distance that Bellabaci won yesterday’s Le Pine Funerals 0-72 Handicap (2100m).

Taken to the front by Jarrod Fry, Bellabaci raced tractably for the 2kg claiming apprentice and when asked for an effort at the top of the straight responded to put the outcome of the race beyond doubt.

Bellabaci defeated the plucky Fabriano, who made ground from a middle position, by 2-1/2 lengths with Looks Perfect a further half-length away in third.

Selecta Minoria ($10) held his ground fairly in the straight from settling in an on-pace position to finish fourth.

“She had a little virus eight weeks ago and ran poorly at Moonee Valley so we had to treat her and back off her,” winning trainer Danny O’Brien said.

“That was probably a blessing because this is the right time of the year for her.

“She really appreciates the big open spaces here at Sandown and she can win a couple more here over the next month,” he added.

This was Bellabaci’s second run since obtaining that virus at Moonee Valley. She finished fourth over 1800m last Wednesday at Caulfield and Fry was pleased with her effort.

“I picked up the ride on her the other day and she just got burnt for speed but she really found the line well,” Fry said.

“Danny (O’Brien) said there was think 2100 metre race for her and I said ‘I reckon she’ll be hard to beat’ and it worked out well.

“She was really travelling well within herself today.

“Because she’s a big striding thing I didn’t want to press the button before the corner and she really flattened out well,” he added.

It was Fry’s second winner at Wednesday’s Sandown Lakeside meeting. He partnered the Peter Moody-trained filly Aporia to victory earlier in the day.

By Zabeel out of the mare Sound Lover, Bellabaci has raced 16 times for four wins and a second placing with prizemoney now in excess of $75,000.

Story by Carl Di Iorio, to view full Virtual Form Guide story click here