Belle s first-up attempt
Belle's first-up attempt

Owner Craig Thompson is hoping Hallowell Belle's excellent Flemington straight-six form can offset her having to run first-up in the $1 million Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on March 9.

Thompson was keen to have Hallowell Belle back at trainer Gai Waterhouse's Randwick stables at the start of this month after the four-year-old had spelled at his Mt Hallowell Stud in Denmark.

But those plans went astray when she was unable to get a flight out of Perth, keeping her in WA until midway through the month.

"She spelled beautifully," Thompson said.

"However, not being able to get an earlier flight has left us on a tightrope as far as her program into the Newmarket goes.

"I would have liked to have her back 10 days earlier. She does have a really good first-up record and she likes the straight at Flemington."

Hallowell Belle ruined her chances in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in November when she slipped badly at the start and finished eighth to Barakey.

It was the first time the daughter of Starcraft had finished further back than fourth at her seven starts at the elite level.

Hallowell Belle won the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at her first start back at Flemington for Waterhouse last October.

She finished third to Mental in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) and was runner-up to champion sprinter Sepoy at her only other start down the straight six in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes.

The last galloper to win the Newmarket Handicap first-up was Polycrates in 1917.

WA's best sprinter Barakey passed his final test for an Oakleigh Plate-Newmarket trip with an impressive 1000m barrier trial win at Belmont Park yesterday.

Barakey trounced Moneghetti by 2¼ lengths in 61.46sec.

"We were hoping to let him sit and put Full Clip in the trial to make the pace, but he pulled his way to the front," trainer Jim Taylor said.

"I am looking to get a travelling partner for him, but the other horses (Luckygray, Mr Moet and Darlington Abbey) are leaving at times not suited to when I want to go. I just think they travel better with company."

·Apprentice jockey Ellie Cockram was yesterday suspended for 21 days after pleading guilty to careless riding at Ascot last Saturday.

The West Australian

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