Black Caviar’s season farewell for her home-town fans will have Moonee Valley buzzing on Friday night.
The Bel Esprit mare will wave good-bye in the G1 William Reid Stakes and then it’s off to Sydney for the G1 T J Smith before wintering in Brisbane’s weight-for-age sprints.
Friday night will also see the 18th and final heat of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge. Holding the keys to a $55,000 Mazda CX9 Classic at this stage is Bendigo trainer Peter Boynton.
Boynton’s mare La Bella Roo is another Bel Esprit flyer and she covered the 955 metre trip in 55.48s with Jake Noonan aboard on New Year’s Eve 2010. That’s been the fastest time recorded during Moonee Valley night racing season.
La Bella Roo (5m Bel Esprit – La Trio by Manntari) has come a long way since her early days in a city stable. “She didn’t settle in because she was a very hot-headed little filly,” Boynton recalled. “But she fitted in very nicely at Bendigo.”
Boynton took over through a connection with Terry Hurford who part-owned his handy sprinter Spectacular Saint. Hurford also raced Group 1 winner Turffontein.
La Bella Roo was purchased by the Roo Bowlers Racing syndicate which is managed by Ron Murphy. It’s made up of 16 bowlers from Kangaroo Flat near Bendigo. Her dam La Trio had won races at Ipswich (3) and Gold Coast for Bev Laming and they bought her filly for just $2,200.
La Bella Roo has already returned over $150,000 and connections will be hoping her time holds up with several flying machines engaged in the final heat of the 55 Second Challenge.
Not surprisingly, Peter Boynton and the La Bella Roo camp were busy praying for more rain as the heavens opened over Melbourne on Thursday.
And the prayers of local trainers have also been answered now that Black Caviar is leaving town to terrorise Sydney and Brisbane.