3 minute read
Jockey Pat Carbery says a favourable barrier draw enhances My Bella Mae’s chances to win the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Carbery said barrier one and racing on top of the speed didn't suit My Bella Mae last start when she started favourite and finished fifth in the Colonel Reeves (1100m).
That followed her strong finishing effort in the Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) when from a wide barrier she went back before being impeded for clear running in the straight.
Her best placing came first up in the Crawford Stakes (1000m) when she ran on solidly from the second half of the field for a half-length second to Red Can Man.
"I think she ran a good race the other day (Colonel Reeves), but I was a little disappointed she didn't quite finish off for the run she had," Carbery told The Races WA.
"However, the track was really firm and I feel that she didn't quite let down that well.
"She also raced a little handier than what suits her although she drew one and the pace wasn't that solid.
"I feel with the race on Saturday there will be a lot more pressure at the top end which means with her barrier she'll be able to be off the speed a bit.
"I feel that will suit her.
"She's got away with winning races on the speed in lesser grade, but obviously it's different when getting up in grade that she's in now.
"She only has to produce what we know she can and she can be right in it."
My Bella Mae is currently $21 with TABtouch. Sydney galloper Overpass the $2.60 market leader.
While quietly confident My Bella Mae can be competitive in the Winterbottom Stakes, Carbery fears Overpass could prove his nemesis again.
Fresh in his mind is the inaugural $4 million Quokka at Ascot in April when Overpass inflicted an agonising defeat on Carbery and Amelia's Jewel.
In one of the most exciting finishes seen in a big race at Ascot for years, Overpass led and held out to defeat Amelia's Jewel by a short half-head.
Carbery says at his best Overpass will take some beating in the Winterbottom Stakes.
"Overpass looks outstanding," Carbery said.
"I've seen him at the track and to me it looks like he has matured from last time he came here.
"He's the one we have to worry about, but's it a very good race.
"Dion's (Luciani) a very good trainer and he'll have her right for her grand final.
"He's got his team going really well."
Along with Oscar's Fortune, Luciani has a potent two-pronged attack in the Winterbottom Stakes.
My Bella Mae is having her second crack at the Winterbottom Stakes after running a competitive ninth to Paulele last year.
As a three-year-old she was the X Factor horse in last year's sprint, having won her first three races that culminated in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes.