Beach life not for Bella Sara

Jonny Turner, Harness News Desk
Southland mare Bella Sara showed beach holidays are not for her when she won at Forbury Park last night.
The victory came after trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis transferred the 5yr-old from their Oreti Beach stable to their Tisbury base.

Bella Sara produced excellent form in strong company after breaking maidens at Forbury Park in November.

Barclay and Ellis sent the mare to their beach stable so she could continue to race well.

The plan worked initially, but the training partners quickly found the beach was not Bella Sara’s happy place when her form dropped off.

"After she won we took her out to the beach so that we could get a bit more out of her," Barclay said.

"But actually it was the opposite."

Beach training is hailed by trainers across New Zealand for helping horses to thrive and improve their form.

Barclay said though that is often the case, there are plenty of horses that do not suit working on sand.

"It doesn’t suit all horses, especially the way we do it.

"Its quite a big operation and in hindsight it wasn’t the right thing for her."

Bella Sara showed she was back to her best form when sitting parked and could not stop her from winning race 8.

The pacer’s victory added to the growing excitement at Barclay and Ellis’s two stables.

The trainers have been rapt with the recent progress of their injury plagued star U May Cullect.

The southern sensation’s troublesome front tendons have healed well since injury ruled him out of last year’s New Zealand Cup.

After undergoing platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) therapy, he went through an extensive rehab process that built up to 45min of jogging each day. He has now progressed to working in a training sulky.

Barclay admitted getting back in the sulky behind her star pacer has her excited.

"It is awesome, we are rapt with him.

"The time out has actually helped him because he has really muscled up."

This year’s New Zealand Cup will be U May Cullect’s big target if he is able to stay sound.

Barclay will trade her sulky for running shoes for a good cause at Ascot Park tomorrow.

She will compete against Matthew Williamson, Ellie Barron, and Sarah O’Reilly in a 100m dash to raise money for ovarian cancer research.

The race will form part of Harness Racing New Zealand’s Team Teal campaign.

Williamson was in strong form in the sulky last night, producing three wins.

The Oamaru driver scored with Listen Easy in race 1, Tactical Change in race 4 and Don’t Look Back in race 5.

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