Shandi Belle (R Spokes) wins the 810m Water Handicap at Coffs Harbour yesterday.
Shandi Belle (R Spokes) wins the 810m Water Handicap at Coffs Harbour yesterday.

Bellamy?s on a good thing

By GREG WHITE

PREMIER trainer Brett Bellamy makes a habit of winning the opening race on Coffs Harbour programs and kept his average up yesterday.

"Funny how that happens," he said, "but I wouldn't mind picking up a couple of extras later in the day to help pay for my holidays."

After finishing 10th of 14 in a similar race on November 24, Shandi Belle ran out of her class but still beat the favoured runners in the Chamber of Commerce Class 4 Handicap.

"If you'd seen her runs you'd know why I'm not surprised by the win," Bellamy said.

"It was a good run at Port Macquarie and she had no luck last start here.

"She wasn't in the stewards report but should have been."

Ridden by Raymond Spokes, the bay mare had a huge advantage drawing the rails gate.

"For the 800 metre races it helps being drawn close in," Bellamy said.

"Apart from one horse, the rest were class one and as she dropped back in weight, with the extra luck she did the job."

Gordon Yorke made it an early local double when well-fancied Ima Honey scored in the Coffs Harbour Water Maiden under Shane Treweek.

The trainer and jockey will combine in the G3 Doomben Summer Stakes later today when Natural Destiny attempts the first leg of the Brisbane 'triple crown.'

The close friends "from way back" paid their travel expenses with yesterdays win but Yorke is stumped as to where to go with the mare.

"It was a nice win and she did her job but placing her in future will be difficult," he said.

"That was only her second start and under the new ratings system she runs the risk of being weighted out of any most races I nominate for."

Meanwhile, two-year-old gelding Mamboo Czar took on the older horses and caused a boilover winning the Caldera Spas Maiden, prompting inquiries as to why more races aren't programmed in the NRRA for the 'babies'.

"Young horses are a day-to-day proposition," committeeman Merv Mercer said.

"You think you have one right, then it goes shin sore or jars up on the track.

"Put a race on at a TAB meeting and you risk getting nine to nominate one day, then none the next."



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