Anxious Few Months for Babylon Berlin

Media Release - Tuesday February 27

It has been an anxious few months for the father-and-son training partnership of Ben and Ryan Foote with their star sprinter Babylon Berlin.

The Group One performer was enjoying some time in the paddock recovering from a throat issue following her sub-par performance in the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) at Pukekohe on New Year’s Day when she had an incident that nearly resulted in the loss of sight in one eye.

Group One performer Babylon Berlin.   Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

“She is over her throat issue and then she got a pin prick in her eye, we don’t know if it was a thistle or not,” Ben Foote said. “We were worried for a short time whether she was going to lose her eye. She spent three weeks at the vet clinic and she came right a couple of days before we were looking at having surgery.

“She is just about fully recovered and is on the treadmill at the moment. She has got a glow back in her coat and she looks tremendous. We will just take our time and get her fitness back up and then make a plan from there.”

Having missed a number of key feature sprints in New Zealand, the perennial Group One bridesmaid will likely head across the Tasman in her next preparation, and Foote believes she is capable of claiming an elusive elite-level scalp.


“More than likely she will head to Australia, but she might have a run here first to make sure everything is in order, but I am happy with her,” Foote said.

“It was really disappointing it happened when it did, but she has still got fresh legs and has got another big one in her for sure.”

Meanwhile, Foote will head to Hastings on Wednesday with half a dozen runners, and he is particularly looking forward to getting Group performed filly Charmer back to the races.

The three-year-old daughter of Charm Spirit was in pleasing form last year, placing in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile before returning this season to post four consecutive runner-up performances, including the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki in November.

She subsequently finished 10th in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe on Boxing Day before enjoying a freshen-up.

Charmer had a 950m trial at Tauranga to ready for Wednesday’s test where Foote believes she will be very competitive in the Linden Estate Winery Maiden (1400m).

“She has come up well,” he said. “Her trial was good, we just gave her a quiet one. Coming back to maiden class, hopefully she can do the job. She is ready to go.

“She is only a little filly, but she tries hard.”

She will be joined in her race by stablemate Alcaraz, who placed over 1200m at Tauranga last start.

“He is a big, strong boy,” Foote said. “He has promised a bit, so drawn nicely (5) tomorrow, he will give them a bit of a shake.”

Foote is also looking forward to watching the Waikato Stud-bred and raced Rayet contest the Vally D’Vine Restaurant Handicap (1200m).

The three-year-old daughter of Tivaci won her first two races at New Plymouth before finishing last in her 1200m test at Tauranga last month, but Foote believes the right-handed way of going at the Bay Of Plenty track tripped her up.

“Her trial was super, so I am looking forward to her racing again,” he said. “She was a touch awkward around a corner at Tauranga right-handed, so hopefully back to left-handed she might be a bit more comfortabe. She has certainly got a bit of ability.”

Foote said last start winner Nancy She Wrote is also an exciting prospect in the Hawke’s Bay Racing Function Centre Handicap (1600m).

“Nancy She Wrote has always been a quite classy horse, it has just been a matter of getting in her rhythm,” Foote said. “She has got a really good turn of foot and she settles nicely. Micheal (McNab, jockey) knows her well and rides her well. If she does everything right, she will be in it.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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