Tears For Winner

May 17, 2015

There were emotional scenes after the impressive victory recorded by Yalu at Kilmore on Sunday, the lightly raced four-year-old's breeder Connie Manley passing away after a battle with cancer just two days previously.

Raced by her family who were on course to pay tribute to Connie who had great passion for her racehorses, Yalu was greeted back to scale with a mixture of tears and applause.

Having just her second start and her first since last spring, Yalu travelled well for Beau Mertens and when asked for her effort in the straight dug deep.

"I had an angel riding with me today," Beau said - "Connie was right there with me."

Michael Kent gained special satisfaction preparing a winner for long time friends and all the more as he bred Yalu's dam Casual Bell.

Having a high opinion of Xenophon, a horse he trained to five wins from his first five starts in Singapore 15 years ago, Kent purchased that Westminster gelding's dam Crackastar.

Also dam of the Gr.3 mare Reggie, Crackastar produced Casual Bell who unfortunately did not make it to the track due to a foot abscess which led to further problems.

But she is doing the job as a broodmare, Yalu her second foal and second winner.

"She is a nice mare in the making," Kent said, "she has taken a bit of time but should go on with it from here."