First stakes test for Helena Baby

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Helena Baby

Promising galloper has won four of his six career starts and will get his first opportunity at stakes level at on Saturday when he contests the Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m).

John Bell is pleased with his gelding heading into Saturday and believes the $2.40 fixed odds favourite is well in at the weights. “He is working very well,” Bell said. “He will have 53kg, so it is no surprise he is one of the favoured runners.”

While Helena Baby could add a first stakes win to his record on Saturday, he will have at least one more opportunity next month in the Group 2 US Navy Flag Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at . The son of is also nominated for the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m), but Bell said his charge would likely either have to win or finish runner-up in the Foxbridge Plate in order to make the field. “He is a class horse, he is a Group 1 type horse, and is an animal to do anything with,” he said.

Bell will also take and Silk down to Taranaki this weekend and he likes the chances of both runners. “We are very pleased with Silk, there's no form, but she is a gutsy mare and I am really quite happy with her,” he said. “Athena Baby is just coming into form. He likes the kick out of the ground and he is an older horse and a staying type. “I am very pleased with him. He has come back from and has won half a million. He's a lovely horse, a gutsy horse.”

Both Helena Baby and Athena Baby carry the Baby suffix of part-owner CY Lee, who has been a strong supporter of Bell's. “CY Lee, he owns these horses,” Bell said. “CY has about four daughters and Helena Baby is named after his wife, Athena Baby after one of his daughters, plus there are whole bunch in Hong Kong.”

Meanwhile, Bell will line-up in the Happy 60th Birthday Andy 1400 at Te Rapa on Saturday and he is confident that she can improve on her fifth-placed debut performance. “She came to us from another stable,” he said. “We gave her a nice trial and changed a few things with her.

“She has got a little bit of class. She ran fifth in her last start, which was quite an run. “I think with Trudy (Thornton, jockey) on her, a decent draw (gate 5), and if she places her right and doesn't get any kickback from the sandy surface at Te Rapa, she should go quite nicely.”

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