Swiss Belle wins on debut
The Racegoers Club's newest recruit Swiss Belle made an impressive start to her racing career on Wednesday night at Wolverhampton with a taking win in the six furlong Novice Median Auction Stakes for Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey as well breeder Whitsbury Manor Stud.
Some things in life really are worth waiting for and that was certainly the case with Swiss Belle as she never made it to the track as a two-year-old due to a pelvic problem. Having first come to light in early summer, vets originally thought it as a muscular problem which seemed to disappear but as Richard upped her work closer to a run the issue kept returning and she was scanned to reveal a bone issue with her pelvis. A period of box rest followed before she returned to light work in the new year and finally made it to the track last night to repay the patience of everybody in some style.
With the emphasis pre-race on education for her debut, Paul Hanagan gave her an excellent ride and although she showed plenty of speed away from the stalls he tucked her in behind the leaders to get her some cover as she was understandably showing signs of greenness.
She hung right slightly as they turned for home but when they straightened up and Paul asked her to go through the gap between the leaders she stayed on strongly to win by a neck. Second favourite Wediddodontwe (official rating 70) finished second with the favourite Temeraire (78) in third.
Paul Hanagan said: "I'm so thrilled with that because we know she'll improve for the run. She picked up really well and pricked her ears when she got to the front so she should stay a bit further as well.
"She has a great attitude and temperament which we knew from her homework but given she's had her problems and until you get to the track you don't know how she will perform so it's great that she's won for everybody."
We will have to wait to see how she comes out of the race before making any plans but it now promises to be an exciting year ahead with Swiss Belle and we look forward to many more thrilling days out for her owners.
Swiss Belle's win now means that the Racegoers Club have four wins from four with horses from Whitsbury Manor Stud, joining Clouds Rest, Showbizzy and Glacier Point on the role of honour. She was also the Racegoer's Club 67th winner since the owners groups were set up in their current form in 1987.
You can see a replay of the race by following this link here.