The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
A $20k bargain buy for the Will Clarken stable has scored a huge boilover in the Robert Sangster Stakes 2020 results with Bella Vella taking out the Group 1 for the talented local trainer at 40/1.
The favourite backers may have enjoyed success in the earlier Group 1 on the card with the Chris Waller-trained Toffee Tongue saluting in the Australasian Oaks, but there was an upset on the cards in this year’s Group 1 $400,000 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) by Clarken’s in-form daughter of Commands Bella Vella.
The five-year-old was originally retired to stud and was to be served by Criterion who she shared an owner with, but with the stallion unable to get the mare into foal she was put up for sale online via Inglis Digital.
David Jolly found her and he along with a number of other connections, including fellow Morphettville trainer Clarken, were happy to snap Bella Vella up for just $22,500 in April last year.
She has now won six from 11 for the stable, putting the icing on the cake with a fairy tale Group 1 victory in the Robert Sangster Stakes, the first Group 1 graduate for the Inglis Digital operation.
“We bought her online, David Jolly actually found her…obviously it’s a fairy tale story now,” Clarken told the media post-win.
“She was previously owned by the owner of Criterion…he was infertile so we bought her back to the track and the rest is history.”
Coming into the race on the back of two good wins at Moonee Valley (955m) and Morphettville Parks (1000m) respectively this prep, the challenge for Bella Vella was always going to be extending her form out over the 1200m.
From a wide barrier, young local jockey Todd Pannell had his work cut out form him on the outsider in betting, but gave the eventual Robert Sangster Stakes winner a lovely ride cutting across to settle near the inside rail and lead the field around.
Bella Vella was flying in the lead, while the well-backed favourite Sunlight was deep going up into second ahead of Savatiano and the brilliant two-year-old Away Game who stalked the pace in fourth.
As they went into the turn for home, Away Game shouldered into the clear starting to lift at the 250m as three-time Group 1 winner Sunlight dropped right out with the big weight eventually crossing dead last.
Bella Vella however kept going, giving a nice kick to the line to narrowly hold off the late flying Anthony Freedman-trained 2019 Blue Diamond winning filly Lyre who came thundering down the outside to produce a near photo finish.
In third rounding out the Robert Sangster Stakes trifecta at a price was the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained last start Group 3 winner in Caulfield Bam’s On Fire, a stablemate to Away Game who was far from disgraced running three lengths back fifth after a lengthy first career prep.
“Group 1s are so hard to get,” Clarken added.
“She’s a stable star and a favourite and so proud to have Todd on the horse.
“It’s very, very special.”
2020 Robert Sangster Stakes Results
|1||10||BELLA VELLA||Will Clarken||Todd Pannell||–||11||56.5kg||$41|
|2||15||LYRE||Anthony Freedman||Damien Thornton||0.2L||10||55kg||$11|
|3||6||BAM’S ON FIRE||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jake Toeroek||2L||5||56.5kg||$19|
|4||11||AMBERDI||Sue Jaensch||Paul Gatt||2L||6||56.5kg||$151|
|5||16||AWAY GAME||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Dean Holland||2.9L||3||47kg||$3.80|
|6||3||SAVATIANO||James Cummings||Jason Holder||3.2L||7||56.5kg||$7.50|
|7||2||I AM EXCITED||David Pfieffer||Dom Tourneur||3.5L||4||56.5kg||$13|
|8||13||STREET ICON||Kevin Corstens||Ryan Hurdle||3.9L||2||56.5kg||$51|
|9||7||SPANISH WHISPER||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Ethan Brown||4.2L||13||56.5kg||$71|
|10||8||HUMMA HUMMA||John McArdle||Zac Spain||4.2L||9||56.5kg||$31|
|11||4||MADAM ROUGE||Chris Waller||Ms Kayla Crowther (a)||4.2L||8||56.5kg||$41|
|12||14||BEAUTIFUL FLYER||Mick Kluske||Justin Potter||5L||12||56.5kg||$201|
|13||12||EVERYDAY LADY||Will Clarken||Ms Georgina Cartwright (a)||5.7L||16||56.5kg||$201|
|14||9||EMBRACE ME (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||John Allen||6.7L||15||56.5kg||$21|
|15||5||TELEPLAY||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Shayne Cahill||6.9L||1||56.5kg||$21|
|16||1||SUNLIGHT||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Barend Vorster||7.6L||14||56.5kg||$3.20F|
|–||18e||KENYAN WONDER||Ryan Balfour||Caitlin Jones (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||17e||MYSTERY LOVE||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||–||–||0||–||–|
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