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Charleston Belle may stay closer to home

Charleston Belle may have qualified for the Nevele R Fillies Final last week but there is no guarantee of her heading to the Group 1. In fact, she might instead be aimed at a return to Cambridge, scene of her heat win last Thursday. The James Stomont-trained and driven filly lead throughout to down Ideal Belle in the heat, the draw and gate speed proving the decisive factor. Charleston Belle sped over the last 800m in 55.7, her final 400 in 27.4 to post a 1.56 mile, holding on by a neck over Ideal Belle after the big filly had to sit parked. The quinella was a further bonus for the Belle family bred by the Abernethy’s with Charleston Belle being a Christian Cullen daughter of Elite Belle. The Winner of 11 races, including three in Canada, Elite Belle is a daughter of Blistering Belle, who is the dam of Ideal Belle. It is also the family of Five Card Draw so has become one of the hottest in New Zealand at present. Charleston Belle has come a long way from unraced to a 1.56 winner this season but Stormont says he wants to pick his targets. “ I don’t think we will go south.” He says in reference to the Nevele R Final and the New Zealand Oaks. “She has already had a long season and to be honest I don’t think we can beat Venus Serena down there. “ Then add in Willow and a few more and she could race in those races, go super and only finish third or fourth. “Whereas she can stay up here and get the same money for winning a race at Alexandra Park the way the stakes are. “Our main aim with her is to get her into the Jewels and that would be a great way to cap her season.”