Vanilla Bally failed in her bid to become the first Israeli horse to win at race in Britain.
The filly behaved beautifully throughout all the preliminaries, saddling boxes, pre-parade and parade ring. George Baker’s team had her looking fit and well and she won the award for best turned out-horse. She went nicely to post in temperatures of zero degrees, and was one of the first to load.
Things went downhill rapidly as she missed the break when the stalls opened, and as she recovered ground, received a hefty bump at the first turn. Last going into the back straight, she climbed up the field, but realising she was injured, jockey Dane O’Neill eased her right down and she trailed in last.
Paul Alster, head of communications at the Israel Jockey Club, said: “She came back barely blowing at all, showing that she hadn’t exerted herself, but Dane said that after getting the bump he felt her action was awkward. He said she never got out of third gear and was looking after herself, adding ‘you must draw a line through this run as it wasn’t her’.”
After the race she tied up in her rear quarters and became distressed. She was given an injection to relax leg muscles that had gone into spasm.
Alster said: “The trainers will have to adjust her diet to help counter the likelihood of her getting tied up again. It was never going to be easy mixing it in this league, but everything that could go wrong in the race did go wrong.
“From her training we know she is at least as good if not better than the horses she raced again and we may now give her a break before trying again in April in warmer weather.”
“People will probably say that the filly is not good enough, and that may be right, but I still don’t think so. It would be great if we can get her right and have another go and prove the doubters wrong.”