Back-to-back Bellmaines for Probabeel (NZ)

14 February 2022

Superstar Probabeel (NZ) flashes late to win the Gr.3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m).

Reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) made a winning start to 2022 at Caulfield on Saturday, successfully defending her title in the A$200,000 Group Three Lamaro’s Hotel Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m).

The top-class mare won the same race 12 months ago and used it as a springboard to success in the Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m) – one of four Group One victories to her name in a glittering career. Bought for $380,000 by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis from Waikato Stud’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2018, Probabeel has won 13 of her 29 starts and more than $4.4 million in stakes.

Ridden on Saturday by her regular Melbourne partner Brett Prebble, Probabeel came from a hopeless position and called on all of her class and courage to produce a withering late run and claim a narrow victory over fellow Kiwi-bred mare Flying Mascot (NZ) (Tavistock).

“I felt the pace wasn’t that quick, but they dropped the hammer before the turn and really made a bit of a sprint home and that’s where she hit a flat patch,” Prebble said. “But then her stamina and her class kicked in late. It was a good feeling.

“It’s always hard carrying a big weight and she’s a little bit older too. But her determination and her ability shone through and she’s always a pleasure to ride. I’m lucky to have the opportunity.”

Racing in the colours of Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Probabeel is trained by Jamie Richards.

“That was a really good win,” Richards said. “She never really looked like she was going to get there until the last 20 metres, but the track had been playing off nearer the inside and they were scouting wide. She struggled to get her momentum up and close off, but when she got to the outside, and got onto her outside leg, she really hit the line strongly.

“She’s got a very good record fresh-up at 1200 metres, and in that sort of race, under the weight scale, it really suits her.

“She’s open to a lot more improvement and we just wanted to follow the path we did with her last year, and she’ll go to the Futurity Stakes, back at Caulfield in a fortnight, in good shape and see if she can win that again too.

“I was thrilled with the way Probabeel was able to win, keeping the flag flying for New Zealand horses in Australia, and Brett Prebble was pretty excited by it too. We’re looking forward to the rest of her campaign.”

Vendor Waikato Stud Ltd
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Far Fetched
Sale Lot 203, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $380,000
Bred by G J Chittick