This weekend in WA the action of the Belmont Autumn Racing Carnival continues with the Belmont Sprint 2015 where Paula Wagg’s staying mare Balmont Girl will return to racing.
A four-year-old daughter of Balmont, the multiple Group 3 winner will have her maiden start since running a disappointing seventh crossing seven lengths away from the winner Real Love in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on New Year’s Day.
After her first win since the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m), after which she ran a brave second to Elite Belle in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) last November.
Now the mare is down to run first-up in Saturday’s Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) at Belmont Park, which will be her first run outside of Perth’s premier track at Ascot Racecourse.
She got a good look around the course however on Monday when Wagg gave her a tough trial five days out from her return to racing, the mare responding well to jockey Patrick Carberry.
“I told Paddy to let her fall out of the gates because I could see there was a lot of pace,” Wagg told The West Australian on Tuesday.
“Bring her out wide in the straight and to let her know she is there over the last furlong (200m).
“He gave her a couple around the bum to let her know she was there for a hard trial.
“I was impressed with the way she got to the line.
“She really needed it because she had a really good blow after.
“I was undecided on trialling her five days before but I’m glad I did.”
After settling eighth in the trial behind Downtrowntrain who was out leading at a blistering pace, Carbery wound up Balmont Girl and she eventually beat home Bass Strait to finish fourth three lengths off the hit-out’s winner.
Another galloper with a black type assignment at Belmont possibly on the agenda meanwhile is the Fred Kersley-trained North Ridge who took out the Nemoetals Handicap in impressive fashion at the track last weekend.
Enjoying weight relief on his last run with just 51.5kg and apprentice hoop Jake Casey on his back, the galloper settled nicely in behind the race favourite and pacesetter Liberty’s Gem before holding off late comer Top Show to win by a neck.
Now Kersley is seriously looking at backing the youngster up in the $100,000 Belmont Guineas (1600m) on June 20.
“He’s better than the average horse in my stable but I’m not sure if he’s up to the top three-year-olds, though that was a strong race,” Kersley said.
“I think the result was assisted by the claim.
“He’s a very immature horse and only late in his three-year-old year.
“He’s probably an untapped talent.
“It (Belmont Guineas) is a race that will be looked at but it’s never been a priority.”
The official line-up for this Saturday’s weight-for-age Belmont Sprint is due out later in the weekend and will be published right here at Races.com.au so stay tuned.
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