Belle Couture, a half-sister to equine superstar Black Caviar, is set to have the third race start of her career in the Spotless Plate at Flemington on Saturday.
Belle Couture was purchased for $2.6 million at the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and joined the stable of Danny O’Brien soon afterwards, but to date has been restricted to just two race starts.
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice made her racing debut with a narrow second behind Paddy’s Gem in the Animals2U Plate (1100m) at Bendigo on December 22 and, after a stint in the spelling paddock, she recorded her first race win in impressive fashion in the Elvis Ricky Thurgood Plate (1200m) at Caulfield on April 21.
O’Brien said after Belle Couture’s maiden race win that he was impressed with the improvement that the three-year-old made in her second race start and believes that she is capable of scoring a win at black type level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“It’s a good time to learn her craft; the really good, tough three-year-olds have had their autumn and hopefully we can put a couple of races together,” O’Brien said.
“Every time we run her we are going to find out about her.
“She has to get a bit of confidence and get her rating up.
“There are plenty of races at Flemington at May and June to give ourselves a platform for hopefully some black type.
“She is very valuable, but if she could get a bit of her own black type she would have it all in front of her at stud.”
Belle Couture will not be the only filly in the Spotless Plate with Group 1 winning siblings; with David Hayes-trained Nicamorae a half-sister to Niconero and Nicconi, included in the nominations for the race.
Nicamorae had three starts during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival without success, but has taken out both the Killawarra Kennels Plate (1000m) at Wangaratta on April 6 and the Long Tan Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 25 since returning to the races.
Niconero recorded an impressive five victories at Group 1 level, highlighted by a fast-finishing win in the 2009 Australian Cup (2000m), while Nicconi won the 2009 The Galaxy (1200m) before taking out the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington the following year.
Other talented fillies in the Spotless Plate field include last start winner Miss Steele, Chris Waller-trained Mamwzzael and Group 3 placegetter I Love It.