The Cape visitors sounded an ominous warning to the local Champions Season hopes when they filled the top four places in the R150 000 Gr3 Poinsettia Stakes run over 1200m at Clairwood on Sunday. The Glen Kotzen trained Jet Belle, a daughter of a former Gold Cup winner, proved superior and showed her versatility in what can be regarded as a major confidence booster for her programme over the next three months.
The Paarl based Kotzen won the race in 2012 with the champion Princess Victoria.
The 4yo Jet Belle was having only her fourth run for the Cape trainer after relocating from Robbie Sage late last year. Drakenstein Stud subsequently (and rather astutely!) bought into Colin Bird’s promising daughter of Jet Master and their investment looks set to pay handsome dividends.
Versatility is this filly’s second name and many will recall how she played the role of a bridesmaid in the 2013 Triple Tiara, running third in two of the three legs to Cherry On The Top.
With all the attention focussed on the champions All Is Secret and Beach Beauty, Jet Belle was easy to back at 14 to 1 and Randolph had her comfortably settled early as All Is Secret led the way.
At the 300m marker All Is Secret was under pressure and Bernard Fayd’herbe forced Hammie’s Hooker into the lead down the middle.
But Randolph was wide awake and he got to work as Jet Belle powered on and got the better of Hammie’s Hooker by a short head in a time of 69,74 secs.
Lanner Falcon ran on well for third with another Cape runner In Jet Supreme running on well for fourth.
The champion mare Beach Beauty could only run fifth, while the favourite All Is Secret, who won the race last year, fell in a hole and ran 6,60 lengths behind in ninth.
Winning jockey Stuart Randolph said that Jet Belle had broken well and was always within striking distance. He said that he had let her go at the 400m and made use of her stride to wear her opposition down.
Glen Kotzen assistant trainer Frikkie Greyling, who prepped Jet Belle, said that the win was a great team effort.
Jet Belle has won 4 races with 4 places from 12 starts and R583 750 in stakes.
Bred by Luke Bailes, she is by Jet Master out of the seven time winning Ahmad mare, Bella Bianca, who won the Gerald Rosenberg Stakes and the 1999 Gold Cup.
She cost R275 000 on the National Yearling Sale and with a first stakes victory under the belt has plenty of racing left in her.
Gr3 Poinsetta Stakes (SAf-Gr3) Clairwood, South Africa, April 20, R150k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.09.74 1- JET BELLE (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Bella Bianca (ARG) by Ahmad (ARG). Owner Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert) & Mr Colin Bird; breeder TL Bailes; trainer GS Kotzen; jockey S Randolph 2- Hammie’s Hooker (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Trippi (USA) – Gem Queen (SAF) by Damascus Gate (USA) 3-Lanner Falcon (SAF), 58.0, ch f 3, Trippi (USA) – Hosta (USA) by French Deputy (USA) Margins: nose, nk, 3/4