Progressive galloper Helena Baby took the next step in his burgeoning career in stunning fashion when he simply decimated his rivals in Saturday’s Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m) at New Plymouth.
Most pundits were expecting the four-year-old Guillotine gelding to prove competitive in his first crack in open company but none could have predicted the dominance he would exert on his well-performed rivals.
Rider Donavan Mansour, who had been aboard the John Bell-trained runner in all of his six career starts prior to Saturday’s effort, made good use of an inside barrier draw to drive Helena Baby to the front in the early stages of the contest.
Allowed to dictate proceedings throughout, Helena Baby was traveling easily as he quickly established a three-length break around the home corner.
Mansour never had to draw the whip as he eased his mount down in the final 100m as they cruised to the line over five lengths clear of runner-up Rosewood, who made up good ground from last, with Herengawe out-finishing Red Sierra for third.
“It is such a pleasure to ride something like this,” Mansour said.
“He is a special boy.
“I was doing rain dances all week as the wetter the better for him. He won on the heavy at Rotorua, which was pretty heavy that day, so he has proved himself on this type of track.
“He had to win well today as Mr Bell has a nice programme mapped out for him.”
Owned by the Hong Kong-based duo of C Y Lee & Tang Hoi Lun, Helena Baby has now won five races in a row after finishing runner-up at his first two starts.
Bell has an ambitious plan for his charge with a start in the Gr.2 US Navy Flag Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa his next likely target.
Helena Baby is also nominated for the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on August 31 but would likely have to win or finish runner-up in the Foxbridge Plate in order to make the Hastings field. – NZ Racing Desk