O’Brien Happy With Belle Couture Despite Debut Defeat

By: Thomas Hackett
December 23rd, 2013

Belle Couture may not have been able to replicate the winning ways of her famous half-sister Black Caviar in the AnimalS2U Plate (1100m) at Bendigo yesterday but trainer Danny O’Brien said that he was happy with the filly’s debut effort.

Belle Couture became the first horse from the famous Helsinge family, highlighted by equine superstar Black Caviar, to suffer defeat on debut.

Belle Couture became the first horse from the famous Helsinge family, highlighted by equine superstar Black Caviar, to suffer defeat on debut. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Belle Couture started the race as a well-backed favourite, after performing well in two barrier trials, and hit the lead with 200 metres left to run but was narrowly beaten by Greg Eurell-trained Paddy’s Gem in a head bobbing finish.

O’Brien told Racing Victoria after the race that he was happy with Belle Couture’s performance and remains confident that the daughter of Redoute’s Choice will continue to develop into a quality galloper as she gets more racing experience.

“There was a bit of a tip around for the winner so it might be pretty smart and the pleasing part was when she was joined by the winner she was coming back at it,” O’Brien said.

“She’s got the right attributes to make into a good racehorse and it’s only the beginning today, not the finish.

“We’ve always thought she’s probably more in the All Too Hard mould than Black Caviar in that we think she’ll be a lot more comfortable when she steps out to 1400m and a mile.

“At 1100m today she’s just been pipped but we’re very encouraged by what she’s shown and looking forward to the future.”

Jockey Damien Oliver gave Belle Couture every chance to follow in the footsteps of her siblings and start her racing career with a victory but said that the three-year-old did not react well when she hit the front on her own.

“She feels as though she is looking for further for sure,” Oliver said.

“She had a nice run to win but when she got the front she didn’t really know how to put the race away.

“When the winner came to her if the race had of been any further she was in front just after the line.”

Paddy’s Gem was also making her racing debut, after finishing second in two barrier trials at Cranbourne and Pakenham, and trainer Greg Eurell told the media after the race that he has always had a good opinion of the Danerich filly.

“It will be interesting to see where she gets to,” Eurell said.

“She has got a nice attitude; I hope she learns to cope with everything.

“If she does, I think there is a little more in store.”

Belle Couture was purchased for $2.6 million at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale by BC3 Thoroughbreds but their stake in the valuable filly has been sold after the company was placed into voluntary administration.

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