Green Belt scores tough Sandown win

US-bred Green Belt has given away age and weight to his rivals to remain unbeaten in two Australian starts following a fighting win at Sandown.

Purchased by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr, Green Belt was the first in an experiment of buying yearlings in the US.

After a debut win at Cranbourne on January 2, Green Belt added the Ladbrokes Blended Bets Handicap (1600m) to his record on Wednesday with Kent Jr declaring the colt has earned a spell after the hard-fought win.

Sent out a heavily backed $1.70 favourite under Jamie Kah, Green Belt scored a three-quarter length win from Matron Bullwinkle ($20) with Bookman ($18) a long-neck away third.

Kent said it was agonising watching the race unfold with the amount of work Green Belt had to do through the race, running sub 12 second sections at various stages during the race.

“I was thinking, a young colt, absorbing all that pressure, he was there to be run down, but he kept finding,” Kent Jr told racing.com.

“I think with all good horses they have to be able to absorb pressure and sustain speed.

“They went very quick at his first start, and he kept going and today against better opposition, they went hard, so for him to keep kicking like he did, it was a big effort.

“He can have a nice, well-earned break now.”

Kah said the gale force winds that struck Sandown on Wednesday had an effect on Green Belt.

“He normally jumps away quickly, but today with the wind he was very distracted in there and didn’t jump that well,” Kah said.

“I would have loved to have come back on him, but he’s not that sort of horse and it would have been suicide to do that on him.

“I just waited and hoped I could get a soft section to get across, but he had to do a lot of work so there was plenty of merit to the win.”

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