Two smart Gr1 places at the end of last term gave notice that the good Silvano mare Bella Sonata was overdue her first stakes success. She finally got her act together at Turffontein on Saturday with a gutsy victory in the R400 000 Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge (F&M).
The tactical options were thrown wide open for the jockeys after the heavens opened and racing proceeded following a track inspection.
Bucking the middle to outside trend of his colleagues, jockey Keagan De Me took the Gavin Van Zyl-trained Bella Sonata down the inside in the run for home, cutting lonely but threatening figures as the pair gradually made up ground.
With the younger Mrs O and Rockin Russian (both in receipt of 8kgs from Bella Sonata) looking dangerous wide out, the deceptive angle may have made it look closer than it was.
But the topweight relished the give in the and she made up the ten lengths deficit in the home ruun to score a milestone win by a half length in a time of 94,28 secs.
The lightly raced Mrs O maintained her improved form in second, finishing 1,25 lengths in front of another promising 3yo in Rockin Russian.
The disappointment of the race was the fancied She’s A Giver, who finiished 15 lengths back.
Myfunnyvalentine misbehaved again and ran stone last.
A R700 000 National Yearling Sale graduate, Bella Sonata was registering a career first stakes success – she has won 5 of her 20 starts with 9 places and stakes of R971 900.
A daughter of Silvano (Lomitas), she was bred by Riyo Stud and is out of the well related Bella Cantata (Singspiel), a UK bred dam of a Gr2 winner there.
She looks to become a nice addition to the Maine Chance Farms broodmare band, when the retirement instruction comes.
Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge (SAf-Gr2)
Turffontein, South Africa, October 7, R400k, 1450m, turf, soft, 1.34.28
1 – BELLA SONATA (SAF), 60.0, ch m 5, Silvano (GER) – Bella Cantata (GB) by Singspiel (IRE). Owner Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Dr W A & Mrs N Jacobs); Breeder Riyo Stud; trainer G v Zyl; jockey K De Melo
2 – Mrs O (SAF), 52.0, b f 3, Oratorio (IRE) – Ginger Hill (SAF) by Western Winter (USA)
3 – Rockin Russian (SAF), 52.0, b f 3, Seventh Rock (AUS) – Russian Foxtrot (SAF) by National Emblem (SAF)
Margins: 0.50, 1.25, 3.25