Sentimental Belle to debut in the Supremacy Stakes at Ascot

A top hit out and encouragement from a respected trainer has given trainer Grant Williams the confidence to unveil Sentimental Belle at Ascot this weekend.

The rookie Nicconi daughter goes to the races for the first time, lining up in the Listed MGIB Supremacy Stakes (1000m) after a slashing trial win in January.

Sentimental Belle burst through a narrow opening when a gap appeared and jockey William Pike had her under a tight hold when crossing the line first.

Fifth behind Sentimental Belle in her Lark Hill trial was Aiyza, a Darren McAuliffe-trained filly who came out and won on debut yesterday (Wednesday) at Ascot.

Williams is keen to snare a rare juvenile win and then entertain thoughts of the Karrakatta Plate, Perth’s richest and most prestigious two-year-old event in April.

It’s an opportunity that has presented itself with Williams lessening the number of horses he trains for leviathan owner-breeder Bob Peters.

Williams says Sentimental Belle is ready to step up and make her debut in the Supremacy Stakes.

“She trialled really good and I was going to do what we normally do and put her in the paddock,” Williams told Tabradio.

“But I caught up with David Harrison at the sales and he said I was crazy, he said she trialled too good.

“She is a good filly and I’ve always liked her, I’m pretty happy with where she is at.

“Obviously things have changed a bit, but there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be racing.

“We know the family really well and love a Nicconi, that’s her sire.”

Sentimental Belle has drawn barrier four in the Supremacy Stakes and is currently $6 with Tabtouch.

Chris Parnham has been booked to ride her.

Meanwhile Williams has not completely given up hope of Coming Around going one better and toppling raging favourite Clairvoyance in the Tabtouch Bunbury Stakes (1400m).

4 ¼ lengths separated the pair a fortnight back after the Darren McAuliffe-trained Clairvoyance smashed the 1300m track record in the Pinjarra Classic (1300m).

Williams is under no illusion of the task confronting Coming Around, but says the booking of top jockey Paul Harvey and drawing barrier two gives his gelding an opportunity of causing an upset.

“Obviously D-Mac’s (McAuliffe) horse is going to be very hard to beat the way it went at Pinjarra, it was airborne down there,” Williams said.

“It looks like we might be running for second again, but we’ve got the barrier draw and the Pont (Harvey) on board.

“He’s looking a treat and we go in with a little bit of confidence.”

Clairvoyance opened at $1.75 and is now into $1.60.

The Spruiker is next at $9 with Coming Around $10.

Williams won the 2014 Bunbury Stakes with Amorino.

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