Jewels bolter arrives in Auckland
By Garrick Knight
She’s only been in Auckland five days, but Group 1 form should be enough to get Divinia Bellezza home at Alexandra Park tonight.
That’s the belief of Jay Abernethy, who is taking care of the Canterbury mare and will drive her.
The daughter of American Ideal ran the race of her life at bolter’s odds in the $150,000 4YO Emerald at the Harness Jewels a fortnight ago, finishing second behind elite mare Elle Mac.
Rangiora trainer Andrew Stuart decided to keep her season going and has sent both her and stablemate Bettor Lady north to Abernethy.
“Andrew said she went so good at the Jewels that he thought he’d send her up here for the better stakes as there wasn’t much for her down south,” said Abernethy.
“She only turned up on Sunday, and she did tuck up a little bit on the trip but has settled in good since.”
Divinia Bellezza ($3.50) has drawn the ace this week, though leading is not a given.
“I haven’t had a chance to do the form on the race yet, but Andrew says she’s more of a follower than a leader, so maybe we will look to take a trail.”
The horse to take a sit on will be gun juvenile Perfect Stride ($2.50), who was narrowly beaten at Cambridge last week after getting held up in the trail.
Zachary Butcher will be looking to take luck out of the equation on the Ray Green-trained colt and it would appear a formality that he heads forward to lead.
Pint-sized filly Bettor Lady isn’t yet in her stablemate’s league but she did get a well-earned maiden win at Manawatu last time.
“She’s tiny, but she moves her legs pretty fast,” said Abernethy.
“When we worked them together yesterday, she was keeping up with Divinia Bellezza.
“She’s here for the South of the Bombay series; we’ve missed this week because it’s 2700 metres.
“But next week over the mile should suit her better.”
Abernethy has two of his own runners in the night’s feature trot – Sol Invictus and Majestic One.
They meet a tidy field that includes the promising All American and in-form C K Spur and Kenny’s Dream.
“Sol Invictus is going really well lately.
“He just loves the Auckland way of going. He’s not up to the good ones, but the harder they go, they better suited he is.
“So hopefully the race is run to suit because if it is, he’ll be in the finish.
“The other mare is just hanging in there for the next batch of monte races coming up in July.
“She’s been in a hard grade recently and has been struggling, but she trialed well under saddle last week so is one to follow.
“She’s getting her confidence back.”
Abernethy said his stable star, Adieu Flirt, who was in the same race as Divinia Bellezza at the Jewels and called in to Nelson’s two-day meeting on the way home last week.
“She had a win and a second at Nelson and is going really well at the moment.
“I’m glad she got that win because her rating got so low that she was missing out on fields at Alexandra Park.
“Now she can race there again and we’ll probably looking at the South of the Bombay Series.”