We were excited a few seasons ago when Paul Campbell approached Ross Wilkinson to lease his mare Balaclava Lady, to send her to promising stallion Fiorente. A fan of Fiorente on the track and always looking to support stallions that promise to produce racehorses suited to distances in excess of a mile, Nigel eagerly awaited the outcome.
The resultant foal, Balarente Lad, scored his first win on Sunday at Sportsbet-Ballarat. We are pleased to now have a winning son of Fiorente in the barn. More so considering his dam, Balaclava Lady, was also in our stable. She was a winner of two races including a 3yo fillies event at Caulfield (beating the talented A Time For Julia) leading into a creditable performance in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas.
Balarente Lad’s career so date, five starts before Sunday, has not been smooth sailing however. From the early days of training at Flemington, he always showed toughness and resilience. He always wanted to please, put his head down and give it his all. A trait that was welcome in Sunday’s race at Ballarat! But he just struggled a few times to progress on paper, in his younger days.
He also was not getting along well with the barriers last preparation. He was very fractious one night at Cranbourne in late December, was scratched and suffered quite a bit of bruising and scrapes. It is the mental impact though that is the most cause for concern, so he was immediately spelled and enjoyed a good Summer break.
Upon return to training in 2019, he spent some time with the specialist barrier attendants who we cannot thank enough. The attendants are not only skilled and brave on raceday, but they often support trainers with horses having issues in the barriers. After a trial at Cranbourne where everything went well, Nigel took Balarente Lad to the races fresh off the “good experience” he had in his trial.
Balarente Lad was a little underdone in fitness at his first run this campaign at Kyneton in April, and it showed. But an improved effort at Bendigo (4th) and some good track work since gave connections some hope of a good performance at Ballarat on Sunday. We’d be lying if we said we expected to win, so the victory was a very welcome outcome for the group of patient owners. With horses to follow into the straight, we think Balarente Lad can progress now over the middle distances in higher grades.
Thanks for John Allen for his ride. From barrier nine, John found he and his mount posted wide in the run. But without panic, he settled Balarente Lad nicely and out of trouble, creeping forward and ready to pounce on the home turn. He had no option but to hit the lead as the leaders tired, and hearts were in mouths as Balarente Lad fought hard to hold off the fast-finishing favourite. But as we said earlier, this gelding is tough and tries hard – a great attribute to have.
Congratulations to Paul Campbell who bred this gelding, and to the syndicate of co-owners who joined Paul via the public syndication service of Kinematic Thoroughbred Services. Also, congratulations to Ross Wilkinson who bred, raced and owns Balaclava Lady.
A special thanks to all our staff, especially Assistant Trainer Kasey Loftus (pictured above leading in Balarente Lad). The care, attention and constant training of our gallopers – particularly those with quirks than need ironing out – does not go unnoticed.
Licensed Promoter Kinematic Thoroughbred Services is again helping us out in the syndication of yearlings. Check out the three fillies we have available here.
All are at value-prices, aided by the fact that we do not charge bloodstock selection fees nor do we markup horses we purchase. Kinematic’s fee starts as low as $66 per 5% share, with detailed Product Disclosure Statements available and robust Co-Ownership Agreements in place to ensure smooth sailing thoughout the fillies’ careers.