The advantage of an inside barrier gate and a handy weight were used to maximum effect by top lightweight jockey Marco van Rensburg when he rode a textbook race to get the smart filly La Bella Mia home to win the R400 000 Gr2 Post Merchants at Greyville on Friday evening.
Starting at 20-1, the 4yo daughter of Gimmethegreenlight and the SP best handicapped choice, ran to the expectations of trainer Weiho Marwing, who told Van Rensburg to ‘ride her with confidence.’
“Mr Marwing said she’d run past them late,” quipped a beaming Van Rensburg, who picks his spots and boots home a variety of winners for varying stables.
La Bella Mia was perfectly placed in the box seat as she stalked pacesetter Bold Respect all the way round the 1200m circuit.
At the 250m marker she powered forward and the weight told as Bold Respect started treading water.
La Bella Mia went on with authority to beat the late finishing Wynkelder by 0,70 lengths in a time of 71,61 secs, to become the next filly after Varikate in 2014 to win the sprint.
Bold Respect hung on for third ahead of the joint tote favourite Kasimir, who flew late. He should be cherry ripe for the Mercury Sprint after this decent effort.
Sand And Sea finished with a flourish down the inside to run 2,25 lengths behind after a slow start, where he was dropped in from a wide draw. Watch this smart sort next time as he appears to be over his respiratory issues – as confirmed in May by trainer Dennis Drier.
The Nadeson Park bred La Bella Mia, who races in the silks of retired jockey Weichong Marwing, is a daughter of Gimmethegreenlight out of the three-time winning Jet Master mare, Mysterious Jet.
She cost R160 000 at the 2016 Sibaya KZN Yearling Sale.
La Bella Mia, who was recording her first stakes success, has won 5 races with 7 places from 20 starts for stakes of R613 287.
Trainer Weiho Marwing commended Van Rensburg on his ride and also thanked ‘Subaru in Mauritius’.
It was Marwing’s first strike of the 2019 SA Champions Season.
Gr2 Post Merchants (SAf-Gr2)
Greyville, South Africa, June 14, R400k, 1200m, turf, good, 1.11.61
1 – LA BELLA MIA (SAF), 51.5, b f 4, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Mysterious Jet (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF). Owner Mr W Marwing; Breeder Nadeson Park Stud; trainer WH Marwing; jockey M v Rensburg
2 – Wynkelder (SAF), 56.0, ch g 5, Kahal (GB) – Al Vino (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
3 – Bold Respect (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Bold Silvano (SAF) – Respectable Lady (SAF) by Kabool (GB)
Margins: 0.70, 0.90, 0.05