Twenty-Sixth Stakes Winner for Bel Esprit

Mark Smith - Saturday January 19

The 5-year-old Bel Esprit mare Belwazi made her first stakes attempt a winning one in Saturday's Listed Kensington Stakes at Flemington and in the process provided a welcome to Victoria for the champion South Australian jockey Jamie Kah.

A late nomination for the race by trainer Jerome Hunter, Belwazi overpowered the equal favourites Glenall and Champagne Cuddles. (photos Grant Courtney)

"I wanted Jamie for the ride because I have watched her in South Australia and horses just seem to travel so well for her," Hunter told AAP.

"I thought we're going to a big race and I knew she would be hungry for it.

"I think she's a very gifted rider."

Belwazi advances her record to 7 wins, 1 second and 1 third from 18 starts with earnings of $222,790.

The Gathercole family homebred is the seventh and penultimate foal of the Rory's Jester mare Nkwazi who died in 2017.

The dam of six winners including the tough-as-teak Our Nkwazi, Nkwazi was a half-sister to the talented racemare Ocean Bridge (Dolphin Street) who is the dam of the Listed Breeders' Plate winner Run for Wilson (Shamardal) and the Group II Tea Rose Stakes winner and Group 1 Flight Stakes and Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes runner-up Longport (Casino Prince).

The final foal of Nkwazi is an unraced 3yo filly by Choisir named Our Wazi.

Belwazi becomes the 26th stakes-winner for Sun Stud's Bel Esprit.

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