Kari Males hopes to quality two fillies for the Breeders Crown semi-finals at tonight’s Ballarat harness racing meeting.
Males will put the harness on Bella Sainz in the seventh heat of the two-year-old fillies' division of the Crown (Race 3 at Ballarat) and last-start Vicbred Super Series final winner Niki No No in heat eight (Race 6 on the card).
Despite their obvious form differences – one being a Group 1 winner and the other boasting just one placing at Shepparton in three goes to date – Males said the two fillies worked similarly at home.
“Bella Sainz is Bellas Delight’s half-sister and we’ve got a pretty good opinion of her,” Males said.
“She was possibly the best one early in the piece, but obviously Niki No No has shown what she’s capable of while Bella Sainz has just taken a bit more time.
“Her work at home is every bit as good as Niki No No.”
Greg Sugars will drive both runners and Males is thrilled with both horses’ gate draws – both drawn gate two in their respective heats.
Males said she deliberately bypassed the Tatlow Stakes with Niki No No to concentrate solely on the Breeders Crown series.
“We tossed up the Tatlow and in the end decided to just focus on the Breeders Crown,” she said.
“She’s gone absolutely above and beyond what we initially expected early in the piece.
“Her semi-final was very gutsy. We learnt a lot about her and what she’s capable of in the Vicbred series.”
Males feels Niki No No has drawn the strongest heat tomorrow night, coming up against Belinda McCarthy-trained Smooth Showgirl.
“She’s probably drawn the strongest of the heats and we know it’s not going to be an easy race. But if we don’t win it then there’s always the repechages,” Males said.
by Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria