Cascabel takes out Blue Ribbon
There was a bunch of very happy – and relieved – owners at Bendigo on Monday (26 April) to watch their pride and joy, Cascabel, take out the Blue Ribbon Foundation CRV Championship.
The Bendigo Advertiser takes up the story of this rapidly rising Bel Esprit 4YO:
A bout of sickness in the lead-up to the Blue Ribbon almost caused Cascabel (below) to be scratched from the lucrative race, before being passed fit and taking out the race ahead of From The Terrace and Grail Jeuney.
It was not a perfect run for the Cranbourne-based horse, sitting at the back of the group in the early stages of the race and battling to stay in touch on the turn. The horse then surprised his supporters, chasing down the field to win in a close finish.
Foreman for Robbie Griffiths Racing, Reid Balfour said although he was confident in Cascabel’s ability, his start of the race was not one of his best.
“We were quite confident, but when the gates opened he was quite slow to get away and I was a bit apprehensive then when he got so far back.
“He’s never raced that way and finished the race as strongly as that before.
“Usually when he wins he’s up on the speed and he doesn’t have to make a long run, so it was a bit foreign to him how he raced today.”
Cascabel won at his previous start, but Balfour said the quality of that field was not comparable to that in the Blue Ribbon Foundation Championship: “He won his last start, but it was only a four-horse field at Cranbourne.
“Today was a bit of a grand final for him. It’s a $100,000 restricted race, but it’s a rich race.
“I’m not too sure where he’ll be off to next, probably somewhere in the city.”
Cascabel’s win delighted it’s many part owners, with the horse being owned by two major syndicates – the Ricky Bobby Syndicate and the Sceptic Racing Syndicate.
Robbie Griffiths Racing representative and Ricky Bobby Syndicate member Cheryl McCarthy said Cascabel had come a long way since joining the Griffiths Racing family.
“We bought him as a yearling out of the sales in Sydney. We syndicated him. He probably wasn’t one of Robbie’s first horses to go, he’d been left behind for a few different reasons, but we put a syndicate together.
“We’ve had the horse since he was a baby and they’ve kept him and he’s been successful progressively.
“We paid $18,000 for him and he’s now collected $200,000.’’
McCarthy was pleased with Cascabel’s ability to get back in the race, despite being well back early on.
“He sat back on the speed, although we’d normally keep him up on the pace and he’s come around and balanced himself and swooped on top of them.
“On the turn I thought he was gone, but he just motored, so we’re really proud of him.’’
One of racing’s good luck stories!
Beltrois heads to Goodwood
While on the subject of Robbie Griffiths and his team of Bel Esprits, Beltrois is having a date with destiny at Morphettville on Sunday (2 May).
Slated to run in the $300,000 Distinctive Homes Goodwood Handicap, Beltrois (below) is poised to become the second Bel Esprit Group One winner and Robbie Griffiths’ first.
This one comes courtesy of the Bel Esprit Winners Club:
Trainer Robbie Griffiths is prepared to overlook an inconclusive leadup run and remains optimistic that Beltrois can get the job done in the Goodwood on Sunday.
Griffiths was hoping that the Pink Ribbon Cup (1200m) at Caulfield two weeks ago would give him a guide on Beltrois’ Goodwood chances, but he came away from the race no wiser after the gelding got hopelessly pocketed and finished 13th.
“The run was really inconclusive,” Griffiths said. “When they finish so far back you can’t say they should have won but he would have been in the finish for sure.
“He never got a whiff of a chance. The only way he was going to get out of the pocket was with a helicopter.”
Beltrois has been specifically aimed at the Goodwood (1200m) since January when he was second to Royal Ida in the Group Three Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and won the Listed LT Cleary Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield.
The Pink Ribbon was only his second run this campaign after an encouraging third behind Definitely Ready and Al’s Best Mate at Caulfield on April 3.
“His first-up run was really good and his work has been good so I wouldn’t let his unplaced run deter people from following him,” Griffiths said.