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Bella Riva Takes Nursery Stakes

For­mer cham­pi­on train­er John O’Brien con­tin­ued his suc­cess­ful run in yes­ter­day’s fea­ture event, the Nurs­ery Stakes when he sad­dled Bel­la Ri­va to win im­pres­sive­ly by three lengths from Amer­i­can Trav­eller with Goldon D’or back in third at San­ta Rosa Park, Ari­ma on Sat­ur­day.

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Bel­la Ri­va fol­lowed in the foot­steps of Gen­er­al JN (2017) and Ear­ly Bird (2018) as he gave O’Brien his third win in three years.

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Pun­ters were on the ball as they in­stalled Bel­la Ri­va as the 4-5 favourite to win on his de­but. How­ev­er, Amer­i­can Trav­eller was well sup­port­ed to fol­low up his last week’s suc­cess at 2/1 with sta­ble­mate Goldon D’or well sup­port­ed at 3/1 in the bet­ting.

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When the starter sent the sev­en-horse field on its way for the 1,000 me­tres event Bel­la Ri­va was out in a flash un­der Bri­an Boodram­s­ing and he led from First Son, Amer­i­can Trav­eller and Span­ish Eyes. Fol­low­ing these were Goldon D’or, Mon­ey Bro­ker and Spring Val­ley.

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Go­ing to the far turn, Bel­la Ri­va still held sway by a length from Amer­i­can Trav­eller which moved in­to sec­ond with First Son beat­ing a re­treat as Spring Val­ly closed on the in­side. Gold­en D’or fol­lowed as Mon­ey Bro­ker came un­der pres­sure

At the top of the straight, Boodram­s­ing gave the daugh­ter of Saint Viguer/Grand Riv­iere the of­fice and she shot in­to a two-length lead from Amer­i­can Trav­eller as Spring Val­ley held thirds on the in­side as Goldon D’or be­gan his run at the lead­ers. But, The Poon Tip Stud Farm owned Bel­la Ri­va was not for catch­ing and she won as she pleased. First time out win­ner Amer­i­can Trav­eller was sec­ond with sta­ble-mate Gold­en D’or in third

The Har­ri­ram Gob­in trained grey fil­ly Nu­clear Pow­er ex­plod­ed late to win the co-fea­ture at odds of 1-2 in the bet­ting. The 2018 Gold Cup win­ner was backed as though vic­to­ry was out of the ques­tion and she land­ed the odds in style for cham­pi­on own­er Shiv­am Ma­haraj. When the starter sent the five-horse field in­to ac­tion in the co-fea­ture 1300 me­tres Hand­i­cap for hors­es rat­ed 80 and over on the main track, Whis­per Light was the first to show from Pause­fora­coors while Val­or­ous tracked the pace two lengths back. Vet­er­an Thisones­for­rom fol­lowed as ap­pren­tice Ki­mal San­to was con­tent­ed to ob­serve from the rear ear­ly be­fore and time his move

Go­ing down the back straight Pause­fora­coors put her head in front of Whis­per Light as Val­or­ous held third with the two back­mark­ers clos­er up on the lead­ing trio

Com­ing to the cor­ner Pause­fora­coors still led but on­ly on suf­fer­ance as Whis­per Light and Dil­lon Khelawan picked up the run­ning. No soon­er than Whis­per Light hit the front San­to pro­duced the grey fil­ly Nu­clear Pow­er with her chal­lenge

In the fi­nal 300 me­tres Whis­per Light still led from Nu­clear Pow­er which was gear­ing up and with 100 me­tres left but Nu­clear Pow­er ex­plod­ed in­to the lead and moved away from the chal­lengers to record an im­pres­sive 3/4 length vic­to­ry. Thisones­for­ron ran on in the clos­ing stages to get third with Val­or­ous set­ting for fourth. The win­ner’s time was 1:17.20

Rid­ing ho­n­ours for the day were shared be­tween ap­pren­tices Ki­mal San­to and Sven Bal­roop who both rode two win­ners each

Train­ing ho­n­ours for the day fell to Harold Chadee who sad­dled two win­ners in Trad­er John and Asian Princess