28 June 2017 | Anthony Logan
Bou Chard wins her Vicbred heat ahead of Rocknroll Magic. Photo by Westvic Race Pix
Horsham owned and trained four-year-old mare Bou Chard gave her connections a mighty thrill at Ballarat last Friday night when victorious in a heat of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series.
When driver Chris Alford took defending Vicbred champion Rocknroll Magic to the lead early in the 2200m contest, Bou Chard and driver Michael Bellman were forced to do the bullocking work without cover in their quest to qualify for a spot in the semi-finals.
Bellman rolled the dice with 500m to travel when he eye-balled the leader and poured on the speed.
The third quarter was run in a blistering 27.3 seconds as the mares engaged in a ding-dong battle for supremacy. Turning for home it was simply a matter of who would be first to surrender and by half-way down the straight it was Bou Chard still standing with Rocknroll Magic under severe pressure.
Alford realised his mare was done and dropped the reins for another day as Bou Chard drew away in the shadows of the post to score by 6m in a rate of 1:58.8.
Bou Chard is raced by her breeder, Robin Connelly, in partnership with trainer Rod Carberry. She has steadily improved over the past 12 months since breaking her maiden at her seventh attempt on her home track at the bolters odds of 40-1.
“We couldn’t pinch ourselves after the race,” said Connelly. "Rod has her going terrific, but to be honest we were hoping she could finish second or third and qualify for the semis - we never expected her to bowl over the favourite".
It's something extra-special for the Connelly family to have Bou Chard performing at such a level - the journey began way back in 1978 when they purchased 16-year-old broodmare Meadow 's Dream, in foal to the colonial stallion Gary Rowan.
The resulting foal, Kiwi Kohine, won a race at Ouyen for the Connelly family but was far more successful in the breeding barn, leaving the smart performers No Muckin About and Johns Rule.
In 1997 Kiwi Kohine produced the four-time winner Robrin Mac (by Golden Greek USA) and her first foal, a filly by Safely Kept USA, arrived in 2005.
Doutzen won two races and was also placed on 14 occasions but no doubt her finest hour came in the Spring of 2012 when her filly foal by Live Or Die USA arrived on the Connelly farm.
Five generations after the purchase of Meadow's Dream, Bou Chard is a real talent out on the racetrack and giving enormous pleasure to the extended Connelly and Carberry families.
They'll all turn out in force at Melton on Friday night and will also have plenty of support from communities spread right throughout the Mallee and Wimmera region.