By Brad Gray
New Zealand trainers have thrown down the early gauntlet ahead of The Championships with La Bella Diosa taking out the Group Two Surround Stakes.
There was a real Kiwi flavour, courtesy of Tavago and Sophia Rosa, to last year’s autumn carnival and if the dominance of La Bella Diosa’s Randwick win is anything to go by, it could be more of the same over the coming months.
La Bella Diosa handled the heavy best
“She has always shown a lot. She won the (NZ) 1000 Guineas pretty well. The owners wanted to have a bit of a go at the Australian Oaks so we’ve come over early. To get a result like this is just great,” said co-trainer Matt Brown.
“The path is the race at Kembla Grange (Kembla Grange Classic) then perhaps to Rosehill for a 2000m race (Vinery Stud).”
Jason Collett had planned all along to stick to the fence from the inside draw and it proved a masterstroke.
“She did it easily. I was a wee bit worried once I got her up over the rise but she had a kick. She is a classy filly,” said Collett.
Omei Sword was a big drifter in betting starting $9.50 after opening $3.80 in first markets with TAB but ran an eye-catching second suggesting she is right on track.
“Terrific run. She really didn’t appreciate the conditions so given that I couldn’t be happier,” said Hugh Bowman of Omei Sword.
Meanwhile, Josh Parr reported that Global Glamour was “never completely comfortable on the heavy ground” despite finishing third.