Oyster Bell In Line For Her First Home Track Win
By Simon Dinopoulos
Progressive mare Oyster Bell looks well placed to notch up her first win at her home track on Sunday after flashing home from the back when resuming last start behind the talented Bella Kuria.
Having placed at seven of her eleven career starts, Jones said she was always a galloper who showed a lot of promise and was just unfortunate to be plagued with injuries.
"She has always shown us a lot of ability, however she has been consistently held back with arthritis in her joints," Jones said.
"We have to try and keep her off her back as much as possible so the majority of her work is actually done in the swimming pool."
Settling towards the back in the small field of eight, Jones felt it was only a case of misfortune which denied her a first up victory.
"She won a jump-out pretty easily leading into that 1000m race so we were fairly confident heading into it," Jones said.
"We read the race to have three or four leaders and planned on settling her off the speed and charging home over the top of them.
"In the end as it turned out there was only one leader in the race who ended getting away with a pretty easy time in front so we were always going to struggle to run her down given she [Bella Kuria] is a 1000m specialist."
In what was surprisingly only her first career start at Thoroughbred Park, Jones emphasised the importance of placing your horses to their advantage, as he in the past had elected to race the daughter of Magic Albert at Wagga for a majority of her races.
"It wasn't by design in any means, it's funny it just sort of happened that way," Jones said
"You've really just got to try and place two and three-year-olds the best you can.
"She is owned by people down the coast, hence why we have run her few times at the Sapphire Coast."
Dropping back in grade for Sunday's event, Jones remains quite confident she will be very hard to beat but is not one to underestimate her opposition.
"Guy [Walter] looks to have a pretty talented one in the race so you've always got to respect him whenever he brings a horse to Canberra," Jones said.
"In saying that she has pulled up well, she is definitely better for the run and given 1200m is the only distance she has won at we are very happy with her."