Trans-Tasman trip possible for perennial bridesmaid

Babylon Berlin will likely return to Te Rapa next month to contest the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m). Photo: Trish Dunell

Trainer Ben Foote is getting used to the bridesmaid’s tag with his classy sprinter Babylon Berlin.

For the second consecutive time, the five-year-old mare was nabbed late to finish runner-up in a Group One, this time by champion mare Levante in Saturday’s Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.

Babylon Berlin jumped away well and settled outside pacemaker Packing Rockstar, hitting the lead with 300m to go before entering a duel with Levante, with the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained mare getting the better of her rival to win by a long neck.

Foote was proud of Babylon Berlin’s performance but couldn’t help but be disappointed by the result, having also finished runner-up by a head to Imperatriz in the Group 1 Railway (1200m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.

“I am getting used to it now,” Foote quipped. “But I was really happy with her performance.

“She is just starting to settle a little bit more in her races early on and relaxing. I thought she kicked really strong. It took a very good horse to get up and beat her.

“She deserves a Group One for sure.”

Foote will now wait to see how his mare pulls up after the race before deciding her next steps, however, the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa next month looms as her next logical step.

“I will talk with Scott (Williams, owner),” Foote said.

“That (BCD Group Sprint) is pretty much our only option, otherwise the other races are in Melbourne.”

A trip across the Tasman could be on the cards and Foote has taken inspiration from Roch ‘N’ Horse’s journey, who went on to win the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 Champions Sprint (1200m) after finishing runner-up to Levante in last year’s Telegraph.

It wouldn’t be Babylon Berlin’s first trip to Australia, with the daughter of All Too Hard having a disappointing two-run campaign in Queensland last winter.

“She didn’t settle in that well when she went to Australia last year, but I am sure she is up to it if she goes,” Foote said.

“There is the Oakleigh Plate (Group 1, 1100m) and a few other races over there. We will just have to sit down and go through some options, but there are a few there anyway.”

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