Day At The Track

Ideal Belle makes winning return to the track

07:39 PM 15 Mar 2015 NZDT
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Ideal Belle - Looks to have come back bigger and better as a four year old
Ideal Belle - Looks to have come back bigger and better as a four year old

The long awaited return of one of last season's harness racing glamour girls in Ideal Belle took place at Alexandra Park on Friday night and as expected the daughter of American Ideal was a comfortable winner.

The New Zealand Oaks winner from last season has always looked a filly that would get better with time and the now four year old looked a mare going places in a hurry.

It was Ideal Belle's first standing start but Zac Butcher got her away quickly and she settled into the trail behind the free going First Home.

With no mid race challengers Zac was able to wait until the straight to ease Ideal Belle into the passing lane where she dashed past First Home in the last 100 metres for a comfortable first up win.

Ideal Belle paced the 2700 metres from a stand in 3:27.9, a mile rate of 2:03.9 with smart closing sectionals of 56.1 and 27.

Zac Butcher was confident a long way out that she would win.

"She handled the standing start really well"

" She feels like a mare who will develop into a really quick beginner before too long."

" To be fair she is only about 80% tonight but I knew if I got the right run she would be way too good for them and that's how it turned out."

" I just let her get to the line under her steam," Zac said.

After her stellar three year old campaign, Ideal Belle suffered bad cuts to her hind legs when she got them caught over a fence which has delayed her four year old debut.

The main aim for the season now is for her to qualify for the Harness Jewels at Ashburton on May 30th.

Zac always thought that Ideal Belle would come back better at four.

" She has always had a lot of potential and was always going to get better with time."

" I think she should eventually end up in the big Cup races, Zac said.

With the retirement of both Adore Me and Helena Jet in the last few weeks, the time is right for Ideal Belle to stake her claim to the top spot amongst New Zealand mares.

Harnesslink Media


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