IN Racing
Breakthrough victory for exciting juvenile
"It was good to see him bounce back to the ability that he has shown us right the way through.”
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | May 23, 2024
Belardi on his way to winning the Dylan Johnson Bloodstock (1100m) at Taupo on Wednesday. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

Cambridge trainer Andrew Forsman has always thought highly of two-year-old gelding Belardi, and he was pleased to see him display his talent on raceday when taking out the Dylan Johnson Bloodstock (1100m) at Taupo on Wednesday.

Bred and race by The Sunlight Trust, Belardi was sixth on debut at New Plymouth a fortnight ago with Forsman believing he didn’t appreciate the Soft7 track conditions.

“We were a bit disappointed first-up, but there were a few things that contributed to that,” Forsman said. “It was a hard run race and the track was a bit holding, you couldn’t really quicken in it. On more suitable track conditions, we saw the best of him yesterday.

“He has always shown us good ability. He was lightly tried going to New Plymouth, as far as trials were concerned, and I think he just got caught out that day. It was good to see him bounce back to the ability that he has shown us right the way through.”

Belardi may head to the spelling paddock now, although Forsman is contemplating giving him one more run this time in.

“We thought that he could be a Castletown/Ryder Stakes contender but given that he didn’t really handle that track at New Plymouth the other day, it does make us a little hesitant as to what we do with him,” he said.

“We may give him a break and aim him towards spring racing. His is still quite an immature horse physically, so we will just work it out as to whether we give him one more run or send him to the paddock.”

Forsman is looking forward to racing at Pukekohe Park on Saturday where he has Mary Shan and Koheroa in the Auckland Co-op Taxis 1400, however, the latter may be saved for another day.

“Track conditions will be the key there,” Forsman said. “Mary Shan handles tracks with cut in it, but that track could be quite deep with the rain we have had. That is the only question mark. She is going great, and we are trying her in blinkers for the first time. She has been racing well without much luck, so hopefully she can run well.

“Koheroa is still learning as he goes. He is probably a doubtful starter with the way the track has come up the way it has (Heavy10 on Thursday morning).”

Forsman will also be represented by Devastate and Russian Satire in the Jamieson Park 1500 and Thanks Peter & Dawn Williams 1600 respectively, while Amazing Grace will make her return after 18 months on the sidelines alongside Russian Satire.

“A low barrier cost Devastate at Te Rapa the other day,” said Forsman, with the gelding drawing barrier two on Saturday. “The positive with Pukekohe is that they don’t get too far out these days. The inside few metres may be affected and hopefully he can put himself on speed and angle out to the better part of the track. I think it does look a suitable race and he is well weighted.

“Russian Satire just got tripped up at Te Rapa last start, I would put a line through that run. She is a little bit hit-and-miss, she does handle some wet tracks and not others. The frustration this time of year, as always, is that you go from different tracks from week-to-week. Whether she can handle a holding Pukekohe track, if that is how it presents, that will be in the only query, but she has been going great.

“Amazing Grace has been a long time off the scene. She had a suspensory injury but seems to be coming along well. She may need a run or two to get going, although she has trialled up really well, she is competitive, and she has got a bit of class. It wouldn’t surprise me to see her run a cheeky race.” 

Belardi Andrew Forsman Mary Shan Koheroa Devastate Russian Satire Amazing Grace Belardo The Sunlight Trust