Belle du Nord’s (Reliable Man) ability to cope with a middle distance will be answered at Hawke’s Bay on Thursday.
The Group One performer will run over ground for a second time in the Gr.3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) after her first attempt in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m) gave little indication of her staying quality.
“Johnathan (Parkes) came back and said she was travelling brilliantly on the turn, but when he let her have her head she just couldn’t cope with the slow ground,” said Emma-Lee Browne, who trains the filly with her husband David.
“It was the track conditions more than anything else so we’ve really yet to see. We think she’ll be okay on a better track though.
“She’s been working well since and the only little concern we have is that she didn’t have a really good hit-out last time because of the track.”
Group One-placed in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Levin Classic (1600m), Belle du Nord will be ridden by Vinnie Colgan.
Belle du Nord was born and raised at Curraghmore for breeder Nearco Stud. -NZ Racing Desk