TRAINER Brett Bellamy believes a 'home track advantage' is the key factor to his consistent mare Bonne Cheval maintaining her terrific form this preparation when she lines up at Coffs Harbour this afternoon.
A six-year-old daughter of the former smart sprinter Murphy's Blu Boy, Bonne Cheval is chasing her fourth win this campaign when she tackles the Reece Plumbing Centre Spring Flyer (1000m).
Bonne Cheval has been in great form in recent months, winning first-up at Coffs Harbour on August 3 then again at Lismore on August 15. She scored again at Lismore two starts later on September 21.
She is coming off a last-start sixth of 10 behind the multliple Sydney winner Oxford Poet in the $50,000 De Bortoli Wines Port Macquarie Sprint (1200m) on October 6.
Bonne Cheval boasts a consistent record on her home track at Coffs Harbour, winning four races and being placed another four times in 11 appearances there.
She also has two wins and a second from three starts over the 1000m at the track.
"She's certainly been racing very well this prep," the Coffs Harbour-based Bellamy said.
"She ran into a couple of smart ones at Port Macquarie last start but getting her back here on her home track on Friday is the big advantage - she has a terric record here."
Although six of Bonne Cheval's seven career wins have been on good tracks, Bellamy said the likelihood of a soft track today was of no concern at all.
The track was rated a Soft(6) Almost 24 hours ago.
"The track will probably be in the soft5 to soft6 range on Friday and that won't affect her chances at all," he said.
"She handles the soft conditions no problem and is a winner over the 1000m at Coffs in wet ground.
"Drawn well, back on her home track and with Cejay's (Graham) 2kg claim, I'm confident she'll be very hard to beat."
Port Macquarie-based Cejay Graham is chasing a perfect record on Bonne Cheval after combining with the mare to win at Lismore on August 15 in their only previous association.
Bellamy also accepted with Tiaconi in the Spring Flyer but is likely to save that galloper for an 800m race at the Warwick Cup meeting on Saturday.
Bellamy also hopes he can get a win in an earlier race at Coffs Harbour when he could have four runners in the Reln Maiden Hcp (1000m).
He has accepted with first-starter Shades Of Italy, Secrets No More, Spanish Steps and the first emergency Rispetta.
Shades Of Italy and Secrets No More both drew wide in gates 15 and 14 respectively, while Spanish Steps has gate eight and Rispetta did best with barrier four.
"Really, I don't think there's that much between any of the four and I'll be happy if any one of them can win it," he said.
The rail for Friday's eight-race program will be in the true position. The first race is at 1.35pm while there's plenty of time to get trackside in time for the last race at 5.55pm.