Social takes nearly a year to claim debut win on the Gold Coast

Trainer Darren Bell celebrated two wins on the Gold Coast on Saturday thanks to Social and Reigning Thunder. Photo: Tara Croser.

Trainer Darren Bell celebrated two wins on the Gold Coast on Saturday thanks to Social and Reigning Thunder. Photo: Tara Croser.


SOCIAL’S win on debut at the Gold Coast was a long time coming.

It was nearly a year between the four-year-old mare’s first trial in July 2016 and her win in the Maiden Handicap (1100m) on Saturday.

Shin soreness initially sidelined Social after the trial before the outbreak of strangles in trainer Darren Bell’s Deagon stable at the end of last year further delayed her debut.

Strangles is an upper respiratory tract infection that is highly contagious but doesn’t have any long-term effects.

Bell said the outbreak had cost him more than $80,000 as he stable shut down for four months.

“She was up and nearly ready to run then,” Bell said.

“We expected a win (on Saturday) and she did everything right. She has got very good gate speed and she just ran very true and straight.

“She looks like she has certainly got some upside to her. There should certainly be more wins for her.”

WATCH SOCIAL’S DEBUT WIN ON THE GOLD COAST * Video courtesy of Racing Queensland

Social ($2.50 fav) led before turning on the speed in the straight to finish comfortably 4½ lengths in front of nearest rival Attila ($6.50).

“She found the front quite easily and was relaxed mid-race. She was always going to give a strong kick,” Bell said.

“Being (winter) carnival time we will just look for ­another provincial race – a Class 1 or Class 2 race and then assess it from there.

“She has the potential and could develop into a Saturday class horse but we will just take her through a few easier grades first.”

Reigning Thunder ($3.60) gave Bell his second win at the Gold Coast when the four-year-old held off Final Over ($5.50) to win the Class 4 Handicap (1100m).

It was Bell’s first double since his horses returned to racing in April.

Reigning Thunder has recorded two wins and a second-place finish in a strong third preparation.

“He has come back super,” Bell said.

“We probably worked out last preparation that he races best if we space his runs out.

“He is raising the bar. We keep going up in class now and he keeps raising with it.

“Hopefully he will be a horse that can find a better level and maybe go to one of those Saturday town races after the carnival is finished as well.”

Story courtesy Tom Boswell – Gold Coast Bulletin


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