Bella Vella continued her amazing ascension up the sprinting ranks when she made it five wins from five starts this year with a narrow victory in the Group Two McEwen Stakes.
In doing so, she continued a remarkable run for South Australian horses with Behemoth winning the Memsie Stakes last week and Gytrash defeating Nature Strip in the Concorde Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Bella Vella’s trainer Will Clarken said it was a great period for South Australian horses with three Group One-winning gallopers representing the state.
Clarken has his sights set on another 1000 metre race at Moonee Valley, the Group One Moir Stakes on September 29.
Bella Vella’s victory on Saturday took her record to four starts at Moonee Valley for three wins and a second.
Bella Vella was bought through an online auction for $22,500 last year and has since won seven of 11 starts for Clarken.
She was first-up after winning the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville in May.
Clarken says as Bella Vella has got older she has learned to settle better in her races and that was on display as her jockey Jamie Kah was able to take a sit behind the leaders in third place.
“It’s brilliant to see her finish off like that. She’s getting more and more relaxed,” Clarken said.
“It’s good to see she’s got a change of gears.”
Clarken said the McEwen win showed she had taken her game to a level even above her last-start Group One win.
“I’m a bit emotional after that. She’s a horse to fall in love with,” Clarken said.
“She has heaps of ability but I just admire how tough she is and how hard she tries. She delivers tenfold.
“You’d think she had peaked when winning in Adelaide (Sangster) but she’s going even further now.”
Kah, who completed a winning double having also won on Shandy, also paid homage to Bella Vella’s toughness.
“She’s bloody tough. She was first-up and she’s still got a bit of condition on her,” Kah said.
“She probably had enough about a hundred metres out but she was just always going to win in my mind.
“I think if you set her a task she just sticks it out to the end.”
Bella Vella ($4) defeated Ashlor ($31) by a short head with Brooklyn Hustle ($3.80 fav) three quarters of a length away third.