Champion jockey Craig Williams likened problem mare Belmia to trying to solve a Rubik’s cube without corners.
Craig was impressed the Bel Esprit mare’s improvement from the last time when he rode her and commended the team at Emsley Lodge after she stormed home from last to land the Tobin Brothers Celebrating Lives BM64 Hcp (1300m) at Sandown on Wednesday.
The last time Craig partnered her was two starts earlier when she missed the start five lengths at Bendigo and beat only one horse home in a six horse field.
“I could go home that day and get on to something else, but Jamie and James had to work out how to improve Belmia’s attitude,” Craig said.
“She didn’t want to be competitive the last time I rode her but today even though she was a bit still at the start when the gates opened her performance was excellent.
“As much as she’s been a Rubik’s cube with some of the corners off, they have done a great job to get her back to the winner’s stall.
“I just loved the way she really wanted today’s win and no doubt she will gain some confidence from the victory.”
Belmia dwelt at the start and settled six lengths off the lead until then home straight when she burst through along the rails from last, switched around the two leaders approaching the 200 metres and raced clear under hands and heels the final 100m.
The $3.10 favourite, she scored by a length from Tactfull ($9) and Legionnaire ($11).
Trainer Jamie Edwards said he was surprised Belmia had taken so long to win her second race after she came from 20 lengths off the lead to win her race debut at Geelong In November last year.
“She’s been threatening to win a good grade race but her tardiness at the start certainly hasn’t helped,” Jamie said.
“We’ve done a lot of work with her since Bendigo and she jumped with them Moonee Valley last start and finished fourth and today found the right race.
“She’s now a city winner, been city placed and fourth in a stakes race and at this time of the year there are plenty of races around for her and good prizemoney to chase.”