Kelso Wood’s veteran galloper Belltone is geared up and ready to go for their new season debut in the 2012 George Moore Stakes at Eagle Farm Racecourse this Saturday, the seven-year-old racing for the first time since their good winter campaign.
Brahms gelding Belltone is one of 13 horses accepted for this year’s edition of the $200,000 Group 3 George Moore Stakes (1200m), the race due to run as Eagle Farm Race 7 at 4:20pm (AEST).
Bellton had a stellar winter season in Queensland having run a good second up second in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) in the mud before scoring victory in both the Listed Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich and the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast.
They bombed out last start however when they could only manage to finish eight lengths away seventh to Hour Of Peril when stepping up to the mile for the Tattersall’s Mile at Eagle Farm on July 21 carrying 59kg.
On Saturday they are back at Eagle Farm, a track they have won two of their 13 starts at, looking to defy their below par first-up record (8-1-0-3).
Last time they resumed racing however they came within a half-length of smart sprinter Tiger Tees when fifth in the Group 3 Darley BRC Sprint (1350m) on a Good (3) track back in May.
A few things will be in their favour in the George Moore however including the barrier and jockey with Belltone drawn on the rails in gate one with champion hoop Chris Munce booked for the ride.
Munce has an excellent association with the horse and was aboard for their four most recent runs before their break.
Munce and trainer Wood combined also boast an imposing strike rate having won 22 of the 61 races over the past year where the jockey has ridden a Wood-trained horse.
“He (Munce) rides them well, especially this horse,” Wood said.
While it has been a long time between runs for Belltone, Wood is happy with their condition and believes they are ready to go this weekend in the Brisbane Summer Series showdown.
“The horse is fit and well and will have three starts over the summer,” he said.
Following the George Moore Belltone, like the majority of others in the field, will continue onto the other two legs of the Brisbane Summer Triple Crown with the $200,000 Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on December 22 and the $200,000 Listed Bernborough Handicap (1615m) the following Saturday.
While Wood is confident of the horse’s ability their ability to handle the hot weather is of concern, especially with Brisbane experiencing above average temperatures this week.
“I gave him two runs over the summer last year and he didn’t come up,” he said.
“I then gave him a break and he came back and won two of his five starts.
“I don’t know but he mightn’t handle the heat.”
Other notable hopefuls in the George Moore Stakes 2012 on Saturday include 2009 Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready and Adebisi coming off a brilliant three length win in the wet at the track last month.
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