Coffs Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy was more than pleased to see his stable fire on his home track on Saturday, with the veteran scoring a double after Supreme Diva won the 1012m Class Two Handicap and Cotton Caper greeted the judge first in the 1315m Benchmark 50 Handicap.
Still, Bellamy’s proudest moment on the day came about when Totally Mesmerized ran a good fourth to Supreme Diva at the ripe old odds of 150/1, because it was the race day debut for his daughter and apprentice jockey, Courtney Bellamy.
The 18-year-old looked at home in the saddle, and while she didn’t win on debut, her father was tickled pink to say the least.
“Courtney went well. She has been riding for about 12 months but that was her first time riding at the races,” Bellamy said.
“I had mixed feelings; I was nervous, happy, proud and what not, I suppose all the colours of the rainbow.
“I was relieved after the day that she got around safely, and I was happy, she was happy, and the stewards were happy, plus we had a lot of support from clients, and they were all watching, and it was good that everything went to plan.”
Bellamy’s fourth on Totally Mesmerized was a good result, with her father explaining the five-year-old was more or less brought back into work to aid Courtney’s development in the saddle.
“The 150/1 shot ran fourth, and he was brought back into work as a stable pony as it is hard to get rides for apprentices coming through, and they have to get their 20-odd trials,” Bellamy said.
“He was there so she could put him in trials, do jump outs and everything else and he ended up being fit and he has come back better than before, so we thought he could go in for a couple of races.
“He went better than expected, and it is always good having that confidence in the horse underneath you and you could see that on Saturday.”
In a big day for the stable, Supreme Diva boulted in for a good win in the Class Two Handicap for hoop Ray Spokes, making it a stable quinella when beating the Bellamy trained and Jayden Barrie ridden Cadouin.
The six-year-old was third up from a long lay-off and paid as much as $13 across the totes.
“I couldn’t believe the price actually, she was coming off a tendon injury and that was her third run back from a spell,” Bellamy said.
“Her first run at Taree was fair, she just ran out of gas, and second up, she ran fourth at Port Macquarie in a strong race and I thought she would be close to favourite at Coffs.
“One of the owners got $13 and it surprised us that they didn’t really rate her.”
Bellamy trained another quinella when the Casey Waddell ridden Cotton Caper proved too good for stablemate, Supreme Prince, who finished second for Ray Spokes.
“Cotton Caper; she is honest,” Bellamy said.
“As I said to the jockey when I legged her up; he is not much good, but she handles the track, she will handle the going, she is honest, and she will be hitting the line and she proved that on Saturday.
“She tries her heart out and you would love to have a stable full of horses just like her and she deserved the win.”
Bellamy, who took a team of 11 to Coffs Harbour races, finished with the two winners and three seconds and he admitted it was getting tougher and tougher to win races, even on his home course.
“It is good to get a winner anywhere as it is getting very hard to win a race nowadays,” Bellamy said.
“With the (TAB) Highways getting better and better, we have a lot of Queensland trainers coming down and Provincial trainers coming up, which is a sign of the times, and it means we need to get better horses.”
The Bellamy’s could be in action again as early as Thursday, with Redcore nominated for Wyong and with Murwillumbah racing Sunday and Taree on Monday, it could prove to be a busy period for the popular Northern Rivers stable.