Underrated mare The Real Beel made a winning return from a disappointing Australian spring campaign when she stormed home to take out the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa.
The pint-sized Savabeel four-year-old had four unplaced runs in Melbourne during September and October for trainer David Brideoake before returning home for owner Garry Chittick.
Returned to the care of her original mentor Jim Pender, The Real Beel had been taken along quietly before stepping out in public for the first time at the Te Aroha trials eleven days ago where she registered an impressive effort to down top-class sprinter Volpe Veloce over 1000m.
Sporting the Chittick family’s famous Waikato Stud colours, The Real Beel was allowed to start at outside odds of $25 in Saturday’s fillies and mare weight-for-age contest and defied her knockers to register an all-important black type victory.
Rider Craig Grylls produced a peach of an effort as he guided The Real Beel into a challenging position nearing the home turn after enjoying a cosy run against the rail in midfield throughout. Asked for a final effort at the 150m The Real Beel sprinted hard to hit the front before holding out a late charge from Guillada to score by a neck with Pinmedown closing strongly to take third.
“It’s amazing and for Garry to give her back to me, I’m just absolutely rapt,” an emotional Pender said.
“She didn’t have a lot of luck in Australia.
“She’s a funny little girl as I had to change around a few boxes until she was happy and comfortable when she got home.
“My son (Kelly) does all the work on her and when you see the size of him you think gawd.
“He just loves her and she just gets on so well with him.”
Although The Real Beel was winning just her second race from 18 starts, Pender was quick to point out she had finished close up in a number of good races including a runner-up finish behind Long Leaf, ridden by James McDonald, in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie back in January.
“If that James McDonald hadn’t have come over, I think we might have won it,” Pender said.
“I was just a little bit concerned (today) after she had only had the 1000m trial and going to the mile.
“I believe she is in foal to Tivaci, although I’m not sure, so with her being in foal we need to pick these black type races otherwise she might as well be in the paddock.
“I’ll talk to Garry and see if he has a plan and we can work from there.”
Bred by Waikato Stud, The Real Beel is a daughter of O’Reilly mare Ahna and hails from a blueblood family with her third dam being Group One winner Marquise, a daughter of Eight Carat and a sibling of champion gallopers Octagonal, Kaapstad and Diamond Lover.
– NZ Racing Desk