IN Racing
Regally-bred filly to make debut
Regally-bred filly My Annie Belle is set to make her much anticipated debut at Matamata on Friday in the Cunningham Decorating Services (1200m).
Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | December 20, 2023
Trainers Bev and Ken Kelso. Photo: Trish Dunell

Regally-bred filly My Annie Belle is set to make her much anticipated debut at Matamata on Friday in the Cunningham Decorating Services (1200m).

The three-year-old daughter of Snitzel is a half-sister to 14-time Group One winner Melody Belle and stakes winner Tutukaka, and breeder-owner Marie Leicester is hoping she can leave her mark on the track under the guidance of trainers Ken and Bev Kelso.

She has had two trials to date, including finishing fourth in her 900m heat at Taupo last month, and while happy with their charge ahead of her debut, the Kelsos aren’t overly enamoured with her outside draw in the 14-horse field.

“She has had a couple of trials and I thought she trialled up really well at Taupo,” Ken Kelso said.

“She has unfortunately drawn wide. It would have been nice to have drawn an alley, but we are going to run her from there, it is going to be a lovely track. She has got a little bit of gate speed so she will probably go forward.”

The Kelsos will line-up another well-bred filly in Little Jeanie in the COMAG (1400m).

The three-year-old filly is out of Miss Opulence, a half-sister to Group One winners Sir Slick and Puccini.

The daughter of Savabeel has placed in her two starts this preparation and Kelso believes the Monovale Holdings-bred and raced filly is a good chance of breaking through for her maiden win this week.

“She was very unlucky at Te Aroha where she should have won,” Kelso said. “She had to change ground at a crucial time and stormed home and got beaten by a nose. She is a nice Savabeel filly.”

Kelso is also excited about Australian import Jolted making her debut for the stable in the Noble & Lee Chartered Accountants (1400m).

“She is a Deep Impact mare that John Sargent had in Sydney. She won at Newcastle,” Kelso said.

“He ran her in the AJC Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) where she struck a wet track and it probably came up too soon for her.

“She is still quite immature. Pinecliff Racing sent her over here to try and get some black-type down the line.

“She probably won’t be competitive over 1400m and won’t be competitive until she gets up to 2000m, but you have got to kick-off somewhere.”

Meanwhile, stable star Legarto will make her first public appearance of the summer when she heads to Matamata on Friday for an Open trial to help ready her for a lucrative assignment next month.

“She will trial in the Group and Listed trial before the first race on Friday,” Kelso said.

“She will then hopefully kick-off on January 14 at Ellerslie in an Open 1400m where the maximum topweight is 60kg.

“It is two weeks before the Karaka Million four-year-old ($1 million Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic, 1600m) and it is to give her a look around Ellerslie as well because she hasn’t been to Ellerslie.”

Ken and Bev Kelso Legarto Little Jeanie My Annie Belle jolted