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The Hawkes Racing-trained Bella Martini held on in a thrilling late finish to make it three wins on the trot holding off Island Missile to salute in Thursday’s Gosford Guineas 2018.
The progressive and well-bred Stratum filly came off successive Melbourne wins into the Central Coast’s Listed $150,000 Gosford Guineas (1200m) and was too good again in the photo result her first go the Sydney way of racing.
Coming off an emphatic two and a half-length Caulfield success from Boxing Day, Bella Martini was the odds-on favourite at $1.90 in Gosford Guineas betting and didn’t disappoint despite getting a little bit lost coming around the turn for home.
Ridden to victory by birthday boy Brenton Avdulla, she had to dig deep after rival hoop Hugh Bowman came from dead last and out wide on the market mover Island Missile ($2.70) to make for a nail-bitter on her outside.
“She’s a really lovely filly,” Avdulla said.
“But you can see she still has a lot to furnish into.
“The first time the Sydney way, it’s difficult.
“When it was time to click into gear, she wasn’t really sure how to do it.
“To her credit she knuckled down late.
“Some good horses got beaten in the race.”
Rounding out the Gosford Guineas trifecta was the hard luck story of the race, the James Cummings-trained Epidemic ($9.50) running a luckless and eye-catching third.
An ultra-consistent Lonrho filly and dual city winner this summer, Epidemic and hoop Glyn Schofield were second last during the run but got shuffled and had trouble getting a clear go on the straight.
The favourite Bella Martini was one of the first into stride after the jump, but was quickly joined by Americana Magic who went to the front narrowly.
Moving into second from the inside alley was We Have Lift Off, while Avdulla was happy to settle into a trailing position third on Bella Martini.
Mid-race, Brad Widdup’s last start Canterbury winning Exceed And Excel filly We Have Lift Off went through to control the tempo and lead, while Bowman was still at the back on the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Smart Missile gelding Island Missile.
With 450m to go, Avdulla called upon Bella Martini who hooked around three wide into the straight.
Out widest of all and coming hard and fast was the challenger Island Missile, who had to settle for second after the bob-of-the-head Gosford Guineas result went the way of the shorter-priced filly on the inside.
“She is a nice filly,” was the immediate post-win assessment by co-trainer Michael Hawkes.
“She just got a bit lost on the corner.
“She really dug deep. She’s a winner, that’s what she is.
“She’s a well-bred filly…it takes a big effort to a horse to come from Melbourne.
“Brenton rode her perfect and it was a very deserved win.”
To follow the promising career of the Gosford Guineas winner Bella Martini and for the top summer racing odds online over the coming weeks, head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
2018 Gosford Guineas Results & Finishing Order
Gosford Race 5 – 18/01/2018
|1||5||BELLA MARTINI||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||–||3||54kg||$1.90F|
|2||1||ISLAND MISSILE||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||0.04L||7||56kg||$2.70|
|3||6||EPIDEMIC||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||2.29L||4||54kg||$9.50|
|4||7||TIARA STAR||Gregory Hickman||Corey Brown||3.91L||6||54kg||$15|
|5||2||AMERICANA MAGIC||Grant Allard||Adam Hyeronimus||4.83L||5||56kg||$26|
|6||4||FAME SHINES||Scott Singleton||Jay Ford||5.71L||2||56kg||$151|
|7||8||WE HAVE LIFT OFF||Brad Widdup||Christian Reith||6.58L||1||54kg||$31|
|–||3||SNEAKY FELLA||Tracey Bartley||–||–||0||–||–|
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