Donnelly rolls out yet another southerner
By Garrick Knight
Arna Donnelly has pretty much become the ‘go to’ for South Island owners and trainers sending their horses north this season and she rolls out her latest acquisition at Alexandra Park tonight.
Delightful Deal, a promising Southland mare, has her first start from Donnelly’s Cambridge stable after recording four wins for Nathan Williamson.
“I’m not really sure how long she’s here for but she’s only had four or five starts this campaign,” said Donnelly.
“The owners wanted to keep her going and race her for the good money on offer at Auckland, and who could blame them?
“She’s a really nice mare that travelled up good and settled in well.
“Her work right-handed has been great so hopefully she can finish in the money this week.”
Bookies are offering a generous $14 about the rising five-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight in what presents as a fairly open race.
Donnelly says she works “like a typical Bettor’s Delight” which means she expects further improvement on race night.
“She gives me quite a good feel and if she’s like most of the ‘Bettor’s’, she’ll lift again come race-time.
“She’s got super manners, too, so once she gets in to a standing start, that won’t be a problem, either.”
Receiving a call out of the blue to offer her a horse has become commonplace for Donnelly, and it’s always a pleasant surprise.
“It’s been fantastic; every now and then the phone rings about a horse coming up.
“You never know when it’s going to happen, but it’s always nice when it does.”
Such a big part of her business has this become, all four of Donnelly’s starters on Friday night were racing in the South Island as recently as March.
Bella Veloce was a victim of circumstances last week, running home well in a five-horse field where the leaders recorded sub-27 final quarters.
“It was a typical walk and sprint last week so we can put a line through that.
“It’s his first standing start tonight but I gave him a few practices in work this week and he stepped good every time.
“He’s racing really well and if he gets away with them, he’s a definite top three player.”
Bookies have Bella Veloce at $9 and $2.50 in a race where Red Reactor and Big Mach present as the two class horses.
Bella Roza has shown fair improvement in recent racing and strikes an even South of the Bombays Series race, though she’s drawn one from the outside.
“The draws a bit tricky, but she’s got good gate speed so maybe we’ll go forward.
“She’s racing really well and has improved.”
And rounding out the team is Young Conqueror, who has had a few trainers and perhaps a touch down on his best efforts recently.
“I do quite like the horse; his form has tapered off from what it was early on, but I think he’s getting a bit of confidence back.
“It’s a tricky grade, and there are a few nice horses in there like Ferritts Sister ($1.65), but if he gets the right run to suit, he could be in the money.”
Donnelly is on 30 wins for the season, seven more than her previous best, and with the hope of adding to that in the final month.