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The visiting Kiwi filly La Bella Diosa kicked off her Australian Oaks 2017 campaign in perfect fashion at Royal Randwick on Saturday taking out the Surround Stakes on Chipping Norton Stakes Day.
Prepared at Rangiora by Mandy & Matt Brown, the well-bred daughter of So You Think debuted down under in Sydney’s $200,000 Group 2 Surround Stakes (1400m) and stole the show.
Her latest run back home was a Group 1 NZ Thousand Guineas (1600m) victory over a mile, winning form she brought with her to Australia as she heads towards the $1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 8 during The Championships.
Well-backed on track, La Bella Diosa was ridden by New Zealand expat Jason Collett who gave her the perfect ride up along the inside of the track on the Heavy going surface.
In a good, tough performance that is typical of the Kiwi-trained fillies La Bella Diosa held the measure of the Australian fillies in the race including the returning Chris Waller-trained Omei Sword who was exciting running second in her delayed return.
Last start Light Fingers Stakes winner, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained dual Group 1 winner Global Glamour was the hot favourite in Surround Stakes betting and mustered through on the rails early to lead the field around.
Waller’s Golden Rose runner-up Omei Sword first-up off a setback was last upon settling with all the ground to make up.
Global Glamour gave a strong kick and held a good lead in the early stages leading from the likes of French Fern and Pumpkin Pie.
The favourite retained the lead coming around the bend before La Bella Diosa put herself onto the scene.
Omei Sword and jockey Hugh Bowman were also making a move sitting last at the top of the straight.
Coming up through the middle, Global Glamour was quickly headed by La Bella Diosa who charged home on the rails holding off Omei Sword as the favourite had to settle for third rounding out the Surround Stakes trifecta.
“We weren’t really sure whether she’d handle a track like that, but she did,” co-trainer Matt Brown said.
“Very happy with that.
“She’s always shown a lot. She won the (NZ) Thousand Guineas pretty well and the owners wanted to have a go at the Australian Oaks so we came over early.”
Brown confirmed that they would run La Bella Diosa second-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) on March 10 before a 2000m Rosehill run heading into the ATC Oaks where she will be out to emulate Sofia Rosa (2016) won for the Kiwis last autumn.
Back this year’s Surround Stakes 2017 winner at the best autumn racing odds online now at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2017 Surround Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 6 – 25/02/2017
|1||3||LA BELLA DIOSA (NZ)||Mandy & Matt Brown||Jason Collett||–||1||56kg||$9|
|2||4||OMEI SWORD||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1.5L||9||56kg||$9.50|
|3||1||GLOBAL GLAMOUR||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||1.6L||2||56kg||$2.35F|
|4||2||FOXPLAY||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||4.7L||10||56kg||$5|
|5||10||LUBITON||Bjorn Baker||Glyn Schofield||4.9L||5||56kg||$18|
|6||7||SEZANNE||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||5.7L||6||56kg||$18|
|7||9||ZENALICIOUS||Les Bridge||Tim Clark||9.4L||7||56kg||$51|
|8||5||SPRIGHT||Garry Frazer||Corey Brown||13L||8||56kg||$8.50|
|9||8||PUMPKIN PIE||Danny Williams||Jay Ford||13.9L||4||56kg||$16|
|10||6||FRENCH FERN||David Payne||Tye Angland||16.4L||3||56kg||$41|
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