Bonita Bella Puts On Show For Owners

By Neill Ross

At 5.30am on a very mild Saturday morning I had the pleasure of taking Dave O'Neill, Mark Brittain, Goran Koneski, Paul Casey, Leonie and Rob Veles, Stephen Ross, Tony McCarthy and Peter Bisaro into the middle of Randwick to watch their cracking So You Think filly, Bonita Bella, undertake her daily track work routine.

John O'Shea was in fine fettle, (after just organising and attending an incredibly successful industry charity event for Brad O'Hare), and he was very upbeat about how far Bonita Bella had come this preparation and what his plans are for her. "I am delighted with her preparation so far and we expect her to jump out this Friday" said John. “She is a very tough filly and has done everything right. I know she has ability and my job now is to keep her safe and get her ready for the summer as she has plenty of spunk about her."

Just after John had finished telling us this...Bonita Bella, on cue, was not to be upstaged by either the master trainer or champion hoop in James McDonald (who was with us) and she put on a show by standing up perfectly on her hind legs. This drew a few deep breaths from those of us around her. Relieved she and the rider came down safely, she, in typical confident Bonita Bella fashion trotted off into the darkness as happy as could be.

We were also incredibly lucky to catch up in with Champion Jockey, James McDonald, who spared a few minutes from his busy schedule, to say hello. He's just returned to the saddle after being overseas and notably he has an unbeatable lead on the Champion Jockey spot for the season. A really amazing effort by him when taking into account he has been away on holiday for close to a month.

When we returned to the stables where we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with her as we watched her get washed down and readied for a cool down period on the walker.

I find these mornings extremely beneficial for everyone involved as they provide a relaxed environment for all of the owners to get to know each other before their horses get to the races.

Next Saturday I will be taking the Broadside Armour team out into the middle to watch him go through his paces and I hope to make these track work mornings an ongoing calendar event as the horses get ready for the job ahead.

Photo courtesy of Mark Brittain


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