Coffs Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy is delighted with the continual improvement of impressive debut winner Northern Knight who takes the next step in his racing career at Lismore on Tuesday.
Northern Knight was a day short of officially turning four when he made a belated start to his racing career in impressive fashion at Port Macquarie on July 31.
Coming off a barrier trial win at Coffs Harbour on July 23, Northern Knight was easy in the betting for his racing debut eight days later and was sent out a $15 chance in the 3YO Maiden over 1006m.
Settling midfield, Northern Knight finished powerfully to race away for a 1.5 length win over Nic And Run and Raiden, who started the $1.28 fav.
Northern Knight has only been in Bellamy’s care for about three months and the trainer said the Bon Hoffa gelding has done nothing but improve in that period.
“He’d started off with another trainer and only came to me about three months ago,” said Bellamy.
“He didn’t show much at first but then the penny seemed to drop with him and he’s just continued to improve.
“He went well in a jumpout then he won his barrier trial at Coffs and he didn’t surprise me at all by winning the way he did at Port Macquarie.
“He struck a bit of trouble in the run but was good enough to get himself out of it and win well. The odds-on favourite (Raiden) missed the start but who’s to say if he would have beaten us anyway.
“Northern Knight’s work since his first run has been very good and hopefully he continues to improve and can take the next step at Lismore.”
Northern Knight now steps up to 1200m in Tuesday’s Book Your Cup Day Package Now Class 1 Hcp at Lismore where he has drawn ideally in barrier five and will again be ridden by Raymond Spokes.
Bellamy has three other runners at the Lismore meeting – Bonne Cheval and Zuccheria in the Benchmark 67 Hcp (1200m) and Purrvosa in the Benchmark 65 Hcp (1516m).
Bonne Cheval is coming off a first-up win in a Benchmark 60 over 1000m at Coffs Harbour on August 3 while Zuccherina is resuming since May.
“Bonne Cheval’s getting a bit hard to place with her rating but she’s drawn the rails – which is always an advantage at Lismore – and I’ve booked Cejay Graham whose 3kg claim will be a big help,” said Bellamy.
“Zuccherina’s first-up and might just find the 1200m a bit short.”
The rail for Lismore’s eight-race program will be in the true position and the track on Monday afternoon was rated a good 4.