Group Three Success for Grinzinger Belle (NZ)

18 February 2024

Grinzinger Belle (NZ) winning at Flemington.

A filly bought for just $32,000 at Karaka 2022 took her value to far greater heights with a tenacious and classy front-running victory in Saturday’s A$200,000 Group Three The Vanity (1400m) at Flemington.

Grinzinger Belle (NZ) (Shamexpress) was bought by owner John Wheeler from the Karaka draft of breeders Windsor Park Stud two years ago. She has now had eight starts for two wins, three placings and A$221,955 in stakes – more than seven times her purchase price.

The Danny O’Brien-trained Grinzinger Belle had already shown bright promise in the spring, winning a maiden race at Sandown and finishing second in the Group Two Fillies’ Classic (1600m) on Cox Plate Day at Moonee Valley on October 28.

Saturday’s Vanity was her first raceday appearance since then, and she had to jump from the outside gate in a 12-horse field. But jockey Damian Lane elected to drive her forward and take the lead, and she dominated the race from there.

Grinzinger Belle kicked hard in the straight, maintaining a clear advantage and holding on to win by a length and a quarter.

“She’s come back in great order and furnished into a lovely big filly,” Lane said. “She always had the frame there, but didn’t quite have the substance. She’s furnished now and produced a very good performance to win today. Hopefully it’s not her last this autumn.

“I thought I might have done a bit much on her early. But because I’d be posted wide and working anyway, I had to bite the bullet and make the decision to go forward.

“She’s a high-cruising-speed style of a horse. It was just a matter of whether she could sustain those sectionals. Danny had her spot on today and she did it well.”

O’Brien took special satisfaction from Saturday’s black-type win, having previously trained Grinzinger Belle’s sire – the Group One winner and Windsor Park Stud stallion Shamexpress (NZ). Himself bought by O’Brien for $130,000 from Karaka 2011, Shamexpress earned more than A$1.1m in his 19-start racing career.

“She’s by a horse we trained, Shamexpress, who ran second in the Lightning (Group One, 1000m) here 10 years ago,” he said. “It is good to come back with a daughter of his and win on the same day.

“This filly was good in the spring and just got beaten on Cox Plate Day in a three-year-old fillies’ Group Two, and she’d trialled up well. We had her forward enough to run well, but when I was watching those sectionals, and they were running 10.9, 11 and a tick, 11 and a tick – you’re never sure how much petrol is going to be left. Fair play to her, she was solid right down the running and it was a very good win.

“She is a very big filly, and was always going to be better as she got that strength to carry the frame.”

Vendor Windsor Park Stud
Purchaser Mr JR Wheeler (Victoria)
Breeding Shamexpress – Ripsomemore
Sale Lot 1022, Karaka 2022 Book 2, $32,000
Bred by Windsor Park Stud Ltd