The four-year-old mare by renowned sire, BEL ESPRIT, ran home with all guns blazing to be first past the post in the Hawkesbury Living Cancer Trust Handicap run over 1600 metres at the Hawkesbury Race Club's Clarendon Racecourse on Thursday 12th February.
BEL BARRAGE certainly used her heavy artillery to destroy her rivals, winning in a canter by 3 1/2 lengths. Shortly after the gates opened and from the outside barrier, the mare was sharing the lead albeit wide, with several runners kicking up inside her.
The jockey, Kathy O'Hara then made a decision to ease BEL BARRAGE and ease she did eventually slotting in one off the fence, third last and close to 7 lengths off the leader, NEXT LEVEL a nicely bred horse by More Than Ready out of good producer, St. Kate.
Kathy maintained that position until rounding the home turn and then the heavy artillery was brought into action. Just before the 400 metre marker BEL BARRAGE was being eased off the rail to gain a clear shot at them after straightening, still in seventh place giving the leaders a fair start.
At the 200 metre pole, the mare, gaining momentum with every stride was closing in on the front runner, a 100 metres later it was all over. Her opposition couldn't withstand the barrage and surrendered, with BEL BARRAGE her ears pricked, coasting to the line, winning by a big margin in the time off 1-36.40.
Aside from the fact that it was a heady, patient and skilful ride by Kathy, the mare started at the very nice odds of $31 - good luck to those who got on. To the owners Mr & Mrs Beattie, long term supporters of our stable and also owners of the multiple winning mare CRUELLA DE VIL, sincere congratulations and thanks for giving us the opportunity to train your horses.
Their must be a certain affinity between the owners, the mares they race and female jockeys - a proven winning formula ... when your on a good thing .. etc ..etc.