Belle Of The Turf Stakes taken out by Expat

It was a battle of master and apprentice when Tom Sherry and champion hoop Hugh Bowman fought tooth and nail down the Gosford straight in a stirring edition of the $200,000 Group 3 Belle Of The Turf Stakes on Wednesday.

The Mark Newnham-trained Expat ($8) was too strong on the line for heavy favourite Brookspire ($1.35F) by a neck with a three length gap back to Amica ($13) in third.

The Makfi mare has come a long way since breaking her maiden at Gosford at the odds of 50-1 a year ago to the day, and now takes her record to seven wins from just 12 starts and over $360,000 in earnings.

Newnham was full of praise for his apprentice Sherry, who has been in the irons for four of those seven victories.

“That was a great race to watch, two mares fighting it out for the length of the straight,” Newham said.

“Tommy has rated her really well and came out on top. He’s come as far as the horse from when he started here as well.

“Great effort horse, rider, the team at Warwick Farm have done a really good job with her.”

The win now adds some valuable black type to the four-year-old’s pedigree, and Newnham believes we may not have seen the best of her.

“She’s been building a good record the whole way through and to top that off with a Group 3 win,” Newnham said.

“We may not be finished yet.”

Sherry has been a part of the mare’s journey for a long way and explains that she is a galloper that keeps on taking that next step.

“Mr Newnham has said previously he wasn’t very confident even running her in a maiden, so she’s definitely proven us wrong and continues to do so,” Sherry said.

“She’s very tough, she was well placed today to get her stakes win under her belt.

“And she stuck it out at the mile which opens up a couple more doors for her.

“She’s been racing well all prep and it means a lot to get a winner in a Group 3.”

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