TRAINER Gavin van Zyl has his KZN and Gauteng strings in good winning form and his regular stakes performer Bella Sonata gave the stable a deserved Gr2 win in Saturday’s Joburg Spring Fillies and Mares Challenge over 1450m on Turffontein’s inside track.
The five-year-old mare had excellent form on paper – more than good enough to start favourite, but due to her layoff was allowed to go off at 6-1, a prize picking for shrewd punters.
Bella Sonata’s all class, runs well fresh and returned in fighting shape to finish strongest of all in a race where the front-runner Secret Star fell away first, followed by the fancied She’s A Giver, Shatoosh and Alileo.
Bottom weights Mrs O and Rockin Russia made their handy weights count on the soft track and had most to spare late, but Bella Sonata had things sewn up well before the line under a good ride from Keagan De Melo.
Bella Sonata had a successful wind operation performed on her late last year and she’s been running to her ability since, pleasing Gavin van Zyl, who said last night. “At the end of last season she finished third to Bela-Bela in the Garden Province, a big run considering the quality of the field. We then tried her over 2000m but it proved too far, so the Summer Cup is not an option.
“We’ll restrict her in distance now and we have a nice programme mapped out for her, aimed at next year’s Gr1 Empress Club Stakes in the late summer. We now have a few other races to consider, including the Charity Mile.”
Bella Sonata is by Silvano from Bella Cantana, by Singspiel, and she races for Dr Andreas and Mrs Natalie Jacobs of Maine Chance Farms.
Headline photo: Candyce and Chesney van Zyl led in their winner, Bella Sonata. (JC Photos)