Trainer Danny O’Brien has confirmed that Belle Couture, the half-sister to equine superstar Black Caviar, will make her racing debut in the Animal S2U Fillies Maiden Plate (1100m) at Bendigo on Sunday.
O’Brien has patiently waited to give Belle Couture her much-anticipated maiden raceday appearance and decided that the valuable filly was ready after she performed well in two jump outs over 800 metres at Flemington on November 22 and December 6.
Belle Couture won her jump out on December 6 in solid fashion and O’Brien told Racing Victoria this morning that he has been happy with the way the daughter of Redoute’s Choice had handled the experience.
“We’ve been very pleased with the way that she’s come through her last jumpout and her work has been good in the gallops she’s completed since,” O’Brien said.
“She’s taken everything that we’ve put in front of her so far in her stride and the next step for her progression is to turn up at the races.”
Black Caviar made her racing debut with a sizzling five lengths victory in the Cromwell Handicap at Flemington (1000m) during the 2009 Melbourne Festival Of Racing but O’Brien has elected to take Belle Couture to a more low key venue for her first raceday appearance.
Champion mares Atlantic Jewel (Geelong) and Makybe Diva (Benalla) both made their racing debuts at provincial Victorian tracks and O’Brien believes that taking Belle Couture to Bendigo gives her every chance to start her career with a win.
“We’re taking her to Bendigo because it’s such a good track and every horse gets its chance,” O’Brien said.
“It’s a big, wide-open track that has a history of a lot of young horses kicking off there and going on to better things.”
Black Caviar isn’t the only progeny of Helsinge that started her racing career with a victory; with both Moshe and All Too Hard living up to the family form with first-up wins.
The injury-plagued Moshe made his debut with a sensational six lengths win over Bianco Rossa and Northern Shift in the Monaco Sound Plate (1100m) on November 11 in 2010, while All Too Hard defeated Liberty Rock and Timely Truce to take out the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on February 18 before winning the Group 2 Henry Bucks Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) in dominant fashion at his second start.
Belle Couture will face ten rivals on Sunday, five of which will also be making their racing debuts, and will be partnered by leading jockey Damien Oliver.