Morphettville trainer Will Clarken admits he will be praying for luck in the $1m Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night after his mare Bella Vella drew poorly in the Group 1 sprint.
Clarken claimed the six-year old, coming off a superb third behind Pippie and Trekking in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on September 25, was the “brightest” he had seen her for a while.
However, Bella Vella, who drew gate 10, will have just one horse outside her at the start and Clarken said the draw was far from ideal and would make it difficult.
“We will just have to pray for some luck in running,” he said. “She has only one style, which is to go forward.
Bella Vella (left) won the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley last month. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Supplied
“Either she will lob outside the lead with some luck, or they go super hard and she tacks in just behind them somewhere. The most likely outcome is she gets caught off the track.
“It is what it is, it’s racing unfortunately.”
Bella Vella gave Clarken his first Group 1 triumph when successful in the Sangster Stakes at Morphettville in May, then she claimed the Group 2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley last month when resuming.
Clarken trialled Bella Vella over 1000m at Gawler recently and she led throughout to satisfy connections.
“She had some nice strong work on Tuesday morning which I was comfortable with,” Clarken said. “She is getting a little older and doesn’t over exert herself now.
“She has done plenty of treadmill and beach work and her overall health is good. She was extraordinarily bright at West Beach this morning.
“We’ll just need a lot of luck.”
Bella Vella will be sent to Melbourne on Wednesday night and Jamie Kah will retain the ride.
The Goodwood winner Trekking, fourth in The Everest at Randwick last Saturday, has firmed to favourite for the Manikato after drawing barrier seven.
MORE RACING NEWS
Williams camp in shock over Cox Plate dumping
O’Brien shrugs off Camelot’s ‘overrated’ wide draw
Originally published asPray for luck: Bella’s uphill battle at the Valley
Source: Read Full Article