|Prominent Adelaide trainer Will Clarken celebrated his first Group One success at Morphettville today with Bella Vella winning the Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in dashing style.|
In a great display of speed, Bella Vella and Todd Pannell were able to lead throughout in a powerful display of sprinting.
After bursting clear in the straight the daughter of Commands was able to hold out a late charge from last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Lyre.
The win continued the great recent run for graduates of the Gold Coast Yearling Sale – Bella Vella joining the likes of Tagaloa, Farnan, Shout the Bar, King’s Legacy and Alligator Blood to win a Group One in recent months.
Clarken, a former Adelaide based jockey, was almost lost for words having captured his maiden success at racing’s elite level.
“It’s very surreal at the moment,” Clarken said after the win. “Obviously it’s different circumstances (with no crowd) but it’s fantastic to get it out the way.”
“It’s one of those things – you keep turning up, you keep trying to do your best and doing everything right and it finally happens!”
Clarken said he came into the feature fillies and mares race more hopeful than confident.
“To be honest I’ve had an ordinary start to the carnival,” Clarken noted. “She got the race run to suit – she got no pressure in front.”
“She was travelling so well at the furlong, I knew it would take a good one to beat her and she was able to hold that good one off.”
Bred by Graham Watson, Bella Vella was sold for $100,000 through the Willow Park Stud draft at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. She was purchased by leading bloodstock agent Paul Moroney.
She is by Danehill’s group winning sire son Commands – a Missile Stakes winner before retiring to stud where he proved a great success before being lost in 2014. Bella Vella is a member of his final crop.
Bella Vella is one of three winners, from three to race, for the twice American winning Stormy Atlantic mare Forget the Weather.
The speedy Forget the Weather, whose both wins came at five furlongs, hails from a top international family. She is a half sister to three individual stakes winners.
Winner: Bella Vella
Breeding: Commands-Forget the Weather (Stormy Atlantic)
Race: SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $100,000
Sale: 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Willow Park Stud (As Agent)
Buyer: Paul Moroney Bloodstock
Owner(s): WT Clarken, JP Kelton, P Kelton, A Darivas, BN Howard, DR Jolly, LJ Weekley & Rushton Park
Trainer: Will Clarken (Morphettville)