Class sprinter Babylon Berlin showed she will be a force in all the major sprints over the summer months with a comfortable victory in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa.
Having her first run in a new campaign since finishing seventh behind Imperatriz in the Gr.1 William Reid (1200m) at The Valley in March, the speedy daughter of All Too Hard had warmed up for her assignment with an effortless win over 900m at the Te Rapa trials last month.
After being slightly slow to begin, rider Courtney Barnes allowed her to settle in the trail behind Aris Aris before angling one off the fence in the home straight to take control at the 300m.
Chased hard by Maven Belle in the closing stages, Babylon Berlin cruised to the line a length to the good of her rival, stopping the clock in 1.09.88 for the 1200m under her topweight of 59kgs.
Co-trainer Ben Foote, who prepares the mare in partnership with son Ryan, was pleased to see their stable star back in winning form as he plots a path to the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Pukekohe on New Year’s Day.
“I was in two minds about her chances today as her record said she was the best horse in the race but I knew she needed a run as she is still carrying plenty of condition,” Foote said.
“I thought Courtney did a wonderful job on her and I couldn’t have asked for anymore.
“To be fair, she (Babylon Berlin) has never won like that before but Courtney didn’t panic when she couldn’t find the lead and she showed a decent turn of foot when she was asked in the home straight.
“It was a ten out of ten ride and a relief to get underway with a nice win.”
Foote has the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Pukekohe on New Year’s Day and then the Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham as the main targets for the mare and is in two minds on how he gets there with her.
“There aren’t really any suitable races other than the Counties Bowl (Listed, 1100m) later this month for her and I’m not too sure about going there at this stage.
“The Railway and Telegraph are all we are concentrating on although the Westbury Classic (Gr.2, 1400m) is another option if that initial plan doesn’t quite work out.
“It is also on the cards that we take her back to Australia as we have unfinished business there, but I want that Group One win on her record so those two big races here are what we are focussed on.”
Foote along with Scott Williams, Kim Rogers, Sam Beatson, Cedric Foote and Andrew Stuart, Babylon Berlin is out of Fusaichi Pegasus mare You Can’t Say That a daughter of What Can I Say who won eight races including six at stakes level.
Babylon Berlin has now won eight of her 25 starts and over $569,000 in prize money.
The win also capped off a good day for Barnes who picked up a winning treble after earlier success aboard Fashionista and The Odyssey (also for the Foote stable).