Bellatrix casts a spell at Cambridge

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

It’s been a long road to get Bellatrix to the races, but Adrienne Matthews’ patience finally paid off when her mare scored her maiden win in the Buteline Mobile Trot (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway on Friday.

The daughter of Muscle Mass had shown plenty of promise as a youngster but was involved in a mishap as a juvenile that led to a long rehabilitation period and Matthews at one point thought she would never make it to the races.

“I thought she was going to race as a two-year-old, she really showed a lot of ability, but she got away and took off around the track with the lead on and stood on the lead and flipped herself over and hurt her back,” said Matthews, who co-bred and co-owns the four-year-old.

“It has taken us a long time to get her right, I nearly finished with her because I couldn’t get her right.

“But then I got the girls working on her – Rowena Smyth got her pretty much right and then Catherine Burton has been with her since Rowena had her baby and they have worked wonders on her.”

While she made significant progress, Matthews was almost tempted to put her in-foal last year, however, she thought she would give Bellatrix one final preparation.

“It has been a long road. I almost put her in-foal this year and then I thought I would give her one more try and see how we go,” Matthews said.

Bellatrix has truly rewarded Matthews’ belief in her, placing in three of her previous four starts before winning on Friday in the hands of Matthews.

“She has been racing really honestly and deserves the win. I was really pleased with her tonight,” Matthews said.

With the win, Bellatrix extended a great strike-rate for her dam Equulei, who Matthews trained to win five races.

“The mare has had four foals for four winners now. It is nice to breed them, and we foal them at home as well,” Matthews said.

While Bellatrix has performed well at Cambridge Raceway, Matthews now has ambitions to test her at Alexandra Park over winter.

“I am working on her going right-handed,” Matthews said. “She hasn’t been able to take the bends right-handed so that is why she has only been racing at Cambridge.

“She has been getting better so we are going to look at getting her to Alexandra Park.”

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