Horses To Follow » Belle D’Or

Belle D’Or

Belle D’Or did really well to win the Listed Coral Distaff over an extended mile at Sandown on Saturday. She was wide and seeing plenty of daylight in second place on the outside of leader Wee Jean through the early stages. She got left a little flat-footed when Richard Hughes quickened from the front on Wee Jean, and she actually conceded second place to Crowley’s Law momentarily just outside the two-furlong pole, but she kept on really strongly all the way to the line to just get up and win by a nose.

This was a strong race. Runner-up Wee Jean had won a good handicap at Goodwood in May before finishing third in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot, while the third-placed Crowley’s Law had won her two races prior to the Sandringham, for which she was sent off the 13/2 second favourite. Belle D’Or would have been receiving 12lb and 15lb respectively from the placed fillies if this had been a handicap, so the fact that she was able to beat them off level weights gives an indication of the magnitude of her progression. Also, the fact that John Gosden ran her in a listed race instead of in a handicap, thereby blowing her handicap mark, tells you how highly-regarded she is by her trainer.

We probably knew that anyway, given that her trainer had entered her in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes and the Group 1 Matron Stakes before this race. It was just her third run, and she did show signs of inexperience all the way up the home straight before she put her head down and galloped on strongly through the final 100 yards. She also had a little look before she consented to be led into the winner’s enclosure afterwards. She could progress significantly for this experience, and she could prove to be a high-class filly who will be of interest wherever she goes next.

5th July 2014