Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Returning Robert Sangster winning mare Bella Vella dug deep first-up to continue her lovely record at The Valley with a gutsy victory in the 2020 McEwen Stakes ahead of the Group 1 Moir Stakes back at the track on September 25.
The Will Clarken-trained daughter of Commands went out a three-time winner on the trot during the autumn and returned in excellent fashion to take out the Group 2 $200,000 McEwen Stakes (1000m) on Ladbrokes Feehan Stakes Day.
Ridden first-up by the in-form Jamie Kah, the six-year-old enjoyed her 10th career win and third from four starts at Moonee Valley where she will return as a popular choice for the Group 1 $1 million A.J. Moir Stakes (1000m) under the lights at the end of the month.
Having her first start since saluting at a blowout price in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide back in early May, Bella Vella was brilliant out the gates in the McEwen and settled nicely in third as Witherspoon and Ashlor led the field around.
Bella Vella was wide around the turn but really let down beautifully late, coming at Ashlor who had got to the front to force a photo finish.
In the end Bella Vella was too speedy and too brave, returning in style to continue the fairy tale for connections who picked her up from the online sales.
After getting shut out a little on the bend, Bella Vella ($4) really dug in for the fight and got up to defeat Dan McCarthy’s eye-catching roughie Ashlor ($31) by a short half-head.
In third a further three-quarters back to round out the McEwen Stakes trifecta was the beaten equal-favourite Brooklyn Hustle ($3.80), while the returning Blue Diamond winner Hanseatic ($3.80) ran on well for fourth.
Clarken confirmed the Moir Stakes target for Bella Vella and paid tribute to fellow Group 1 sprinters from South Australia Gytrash (Gordon Richards), who won the Group 3 Concorde Stakes earlier in the day in Sydney ahead of The Everest 2020, and last weekend’s Group 1 Memsie Stakes champ Behemoth (David Jolly).
“To win a Group 1 like the Moir, she has to be versatile,” he said.
“It was brilliant to see her being able to come off them like she did today.
“She’s gone well today, but there is definitely some fitness to come.
“Isn’t it terrific? That w’eve got three genuine Group 1 sprinters heading into the spring.”
Click here for the full futures Moir Stakes odds online.
2020 McEwen Stakes Results
|1||5||BELLA VELLA||Will Clarken||Jamie Kah||8||56.5kg||$4|
|2||2||ASHLOR||Dan McCarthy||Daniel Stackhouse||0.1L||4||58.5kg||$31|
|3||7||BROOKLYN HUSTLE||Jason Warren & Dean Krongold||Ben Melham||0.85L||2||56.5kg||$3.80EF|
|4||8||HANSEATIC||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Craig Williams||1.05L||9||52kg||$3.80EF|
|5||4||FINE DANE||John Moloney||Patrick Moloney||1.55L||1||58.5kg||$31|
|6||9||RULERSHIP||Peter & Paul Snowden||Dean Yendall||2.05L||3||52kg||$12|
|7||1||DESPATCH||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Luke Currie||2.35L||6||58.5kg||$31|
|8||3||BONS AWAY||Wendy Kelly||Craig Newitt||5.35L||7||58.5kg||$8|
|9||6||WITHERSPOON||Kris Lees||Damien Oliver||6.1L||5||56.5kg||$14|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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