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