MATHEW de Kock is likely to leave Saturday’s Listed Oaks Trial winner Belle Rose in the final field to compete in next Saturday’s Gr1 SA Fillies Classic.
De Kock has engaged Anton Marcus to ride the daughter of Golden Sword in this significantly stronger contest and he said on Saturday night: “She is decent, good enough to finish in the money again in the Classic. We’ll see how she pulls up and how she shapes during the week.”
De Kock said that the stable could have gone straight into the Classic after Belle Rose’s fifth to Smiling Blue Eyes in the recent Gauteng Fillies Guineas, but that the Oaks Trial looked very winnable. “This was a race she could definitely win, so we left her in.”
On Saturday, Belle Rose moved up sweetly from just off the pace to race into the lead with 300m to run. Callan Murray had to work hard, however, to keep her head in front of Wind Chill, a strong rival in the last 100m.
“Callan had to move a split second sooner than he wanted to because there were tired fillies dropping back on Belle Rose,” said De Kock.
Belle Rose was a R475,000 purchase from the CTS R2R Sale in 2015. She’s a half-sister to star gelding Pierre Jourdan and Champagne Haze, who won Saturday’s Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes.
Her sire, Golden Sword, stands for R15,000 a pop at Summerhill Stud. The Gr3 Dewhurst Stakes winner, a son of High Chaparral, has had a few promising runners from his first crop.