Group One hopes dashed

Racing Desk
3 November 2017

Smart filly Belle du Nord is out of spring Group One contention.

Connections have given up the chase for the New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas (1600m) and will ease up on the daughter of Reliable Man.

Belle du Nord Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

“She’s fine, but we kept striking wet tracks and she’s growing – nothing has gone to plan so we pulled her out,” said Emma-Lee Browne, who trains with her husband David.

“It’s really disappointing, but we have to do what’s best for her.”

Belle du Nord showed her quality last season when she beat the subsequent Australian Group One winner Aloisia by a wide margin at Trentham before she finished runner-up in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

She opened her three-year-old campaign promisingly enough with a second at Taupo, but conditions have since gone against her with unplaced runs in both the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).

“She’s going through a growth spurt and she just hasn’t got the strength to get going on the wet tracks,” Browne said.

“It wasn’t too bad at Taupo, but it’s been too wet since then.”

Browne said Belle du Nord would be given a break before they start planning the rest of her season.

“She’ll have a week or two in the paddock to freshen up and then we’ll get her ready for the summer. There are options for her almost every weekend.”

However, one that won’t be open to Belle du Nord is the Listed Karaka 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 27.

She was a $50,000 weanling purchase and graduates of the May sale at Karaka aren’t eligible for the $1 million race. – NZ Racing Desk.

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