HER trainer described her as “no champion”, but the unfancied My Bella Rose has a bank balance to suggest otherwise after speeding to victory in the rich Dapto Puppy Classic (520m) final.
Returning a healthy $18.10 for the win in the Group 2 final, Allan Manwaring’s home bred dashed to an early lead from box six and was never headed in the $75,000-to-the-winner final on Thursday, December 7.
“It was very satisfying because no one in the media gave her a hope,” Manwaring said at the end of the three-week series for graduates of the Dapto Puppy Auction.
“Everyone just kept saying one, two, seven, eight.
“She is what she is. She’s no champion, [but] she can get out of a box and run an early sectional.”
It certainly held her in good stead in the biggest race of her short career, helping turn the tables on Corrimal-trained Gold Hunter ($16.20) who gunned her down in a heat of the series.
This time the slow-starting Gold Hunter was left with far too much ground to make up after being last through the first turn, but rattled home to finish three-and-a-half lengths adrift in second.
“He just had too much to do, but it was another huge run,” said Gold Hunter’s conditioner James McFarlane.
The speedy Little Elsie ($7.20) endured a torrid run from box one to finish a length further back in third.
Odds-on favourite Exhibitionist ($1.80), fresh from a semi-final demolition, was only tardy away from the boxes and copped interference in the run to the first turn.
It continued champion Queensland trainer Tony Brett’s frustration in big feature races at Dapto, with Ripped Jeans running second in the corresponding race three years ago.
Retired superstar Glen Gallon was also runner-up in the Illawarra’s first ever Group 1 race, the semi-invitational Dapto Megastar, only a few months ago.
Despite being unfancied in betting markets, the South Coast-based My Bella Rose was the most expensive pup to make the final after Manwaring was forced to put his hand up for $2600 to take home the pup he bred.
“I bred half the litter with Les Thompson and our plan was to buy the entire litter back so we could be in the race,” Manwaring said. “We had to pay what we had to pay and I think $2600 was pretty much the average.”
It certainly seems a wise decision now after My Bella Rose’s fourth career win swelled her earnings to a tad below $80,000.