Danny O’Brien is eyeing the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival with Belle Couture after the half-sister to equine superstar Black Caviar recorded her maiden race win in the Elvis Thurgood Plate (1200m) at Caulfield yesterday.
Belle Couture made her racing debut with a tough on-pace second in the Animals2U Plate (1100m) at Bendigo on December 22 last year, but looked like a different horse yesterday; storming home from towards the tail of the field to score an impressive two lengths victory.
O’Brien said after the race that Belle Couture had obviously come on in leaps and bounds from her debut performance and confirmed that he would give the daughter of Redoute’s Choice a couple more starts this preparation before getting the three-year-old ready for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“She has had a soft kill today so hopefully we can start raising the bar,” O’Brien said after the race.
“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.
“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.”
O’Brien has shown plenty of patience with Belle Couture and he is confident that his patient approach will pay long-term dividends with the $2.6 million yearling purchase – pointing to the fact that Black Caviar had only four race starts before she turned four-years-old.
“She is still only three and her sister didn’t race a lot until she was four and five,” O’Brien said.
“It was the right way to handle her.
“She is a big girl, she had a couple of little growing pains and she is just improving all the time.
“You see what Peter (Moody) did with her and how patient he was.
Queensland Racing officials were hoping that O’Brien might bring Belle Couture up north for the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but the leading Melbourne trainer confirmed that an interstate tilt was not on the agenda for the valuable broodmare prospect.