Belardo Boy back to winning form at Wanganui

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  • June 04, 2024
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Belardo Boy back to winning form at Wanganui

Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Proven miler and winter track specialist Belardo Boy bounced back to winning form when he produced a powerful home straight surge to capture the feature event at Wanganui on Saturday, the Listed AGC Training Stakes (1600m).

The 2023 Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) winner was having just his second run in a new campaign for trainer Lisa Latta and stripped in good condition after taking plenty of benefit from his first up run for eighth at Te Rapa a fortnight ago.

The five-year-old son of former Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Belardo settled near the rear for rider Joe Doyle, but travelled sweetly as he saved ground underneath runners approaching the home bend.

Last start winner Bradman went for glory as he shot two lengths clear shortly after straightening, however Belardo Boy had a full head of stream as he surged in the final 200m to hit the front in the shadows of the post, winning by a long neck from Bradman with last year’s winner Justaskme finishing resolutely for third.

Latta was delighted to see the popular stable runner step back to the winner’s enclosure so early in his preparation.

“He was pretty fresh first up and he can get up and pull when he’s like that and is not an easy horse to ride,” Latta said.

“I said to Joe it’s not the pattern of racing today but just get him to relax as I know he has a great turn of foot if you can get him to do that.

“When he got him relaxed, I knew he could finish it off.”

Latta was pleased for the big team involved with the horse although she was wary about what the immediate future holds for him.

“He is a stable favourite and good for the team to get the result,” she said.

“He is going to be hard to place in the handicaps now, so we will have to have a think about things.

“We were considering the Winter Cup again but possibly not now as he will get weighted out of it.

“I think he is up to good company and if we could get a track with the fire out, he might be a chance in the first of the big races at Hastings in the spring (Gr.1, Tarzino Trophy 1400m).”

Doyle admitted Belardo Boy was one of his favourite mounts although he could be quite a handful when he wanted to be.

“He’s probably my favourite horse in the country as I’ve won quite a few on him now,” he said.

“He’s not a straight-forward ride but when he really lets down it takes a fair horse to beat him on that sort of surface.

“All Lisa said to me was bury him but he still got a bit keen as he’s still a bit fresh but that just means there is plenty of meat left on the bone.

“He could have a really really good winter and he feels as good as I’ve ever felt on him.”

The victory brought up a stakes race double for both Doyle and former Haunui Farm stallion Belardo with Belardi scoring in the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) earlier in the day.

Belardi joined Belardo Boy, Verona, Avonallo and Southern Warrior as the fifth southern hemisphere stakes winner for Belardo, who shuttled to Haunui Farm between 2017 and 2022.

Belardo Boy has now won four of his six starts over 1600m and nine of his 36 career runs for a touch over $330,000 in prizemoney after Latta purchased him for $28,000 out of the Haunui draft during the Book 2 Sale at Karaka in 2020.


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