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Impressive Belle du Nord notches first win for Reliable Man

Westbury Stud stallion Reliable Man sired his first winner when Belle du Nord romped to victory in the $30,000 Richardson Racing 2YO Premier at Trentham on Saturday.

Belle du Nord was a 14-to-one outsider for today's 1200-metre event, having run a good second to Ujjayi on debut before failing in the Gr. 2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes in her only other start. But today she emphatically stamped herself as one of the most promising fillies of her generation.

Ridden by Lisa Allpress, Belle du Nord settled well back in the 11-horse field and was stuck in heavy traffic at the top of the home straight. But she weaved her way through and then produced an explosive turn of foot, careering away to beat Aloisia and Hard Merchandize by three and three-quarter lengths.

"She's always shown us a lot," said David Browne, who trains the filly in partnership with his wife Emma-Lee.

"It was a bit of a mystery when she went no good in the Matamata Breeders' Stakes – we had expected her to run well there and she didn't fire at all. So it's good to see her back today. That was very, very good. Hopefully we can maybe head to the Sires' Produce Stakes."

The Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes will be run at Awapuni on April 1.

Bred by Nearco Stud, raised at Curraghmore and raced by the Northern Club Racing Syndicate No.12, managed by David Williams QC, Belle du Nord has now had a win and a placing from three starts for earnings of $20,150.

"She's a lovely, big, strong type," Allpress said. "She's probably one of the nicest I've sat on for a while. She gave me a great feel, she left them to it out in front in the early part of the race and then powered through them at the end. She felt pretty good."

Belle du Nord is out of the Volksraad mare Bankside Belle, who won eight races and placed twice at Listed level. She is now the dam of two winners from two foals to race, the other being the stakes-placed What Choux Want.

Reliable Man, a Group One winner of the French Derby at three and Randwick's Queen Elizabeth Stakes the following season, has had just six starters to date in his first crop and his progeny were not expected to be two-year-old types. He himself did not race in his two-year-old season. However, his yearlings have been warmly received on both sides of the Tasman and have sold up to $340,000. - The Informant


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