New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner La Diosa is ready to head to Sydney after a trial hitout earlier this week.
New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner La Diosa is all set for her Sydney campaign following a trials hitout earlier this week.
The Mandy and Matt Brown-trained filly is booked on a flight to Sydney next Friday and will have her first start on the path to the Australian Oaks two weeks later.
La Diosa appeared in public for the first time since her easy Riccarton classic win in November when she lined up in a 900-metre trial at Motukarara on Tuesday. And while she didn’t get amongst the placings, Mandy Brown expressed her satisfaction with the performance for regular rider Racha Cuneen.
“She was only there for a day out and the plan was to let her find her feet and then work her into the clear to run home. She settled about seven lengths from the horse in front but when Racha drew her to the outside another horse got in the way and carted her very wide. She ended up finishing over the top of them and was in front soon after the finish. She didn’t want to pull up, as if to say ‘we’re only getting warm’ but the main thing was Racha said she felt great."
“Everything is in place though, her bags are packed and we’re all looking forward to what’s ahead.”
La Diosa will be stabled at Randwick with expat trainer John Sargent and her first scheduled start is the Gr. 2 Surround Stakes over 1400 metres at headquarters on February 25. She will then step up to 1600 metres at Kembla Grange, south of Sydney and her most likely middle-distance debut will come in the Gr. 1 Vinery Stakes at Rosehill on March 25, two weeks out from the Gr. 1 ATC Australian Oaks on the second day of The Championships.
“The main thing is that she settles into her new surroundings and we’ll also be keen to see how she adapts to the right-handed way round,” Brown added. “Our pacework track at home is that way round and our gallop track is a straight line with a right-handed dog-leg in it, so we don’t see that as too big an issue.”
The High Chaparral filly’s connections will engage an Australian jockey, with their preferred choice at this stage leading Sydney horseman Hugh Bowman.
“Nothing’s confirmed at this stage, but we’ve been talking to Hugh’s agent and she’s definitely under consideration,” Brown said. “A lot will depend on his other commitments and ideally we would like to have someone who can commit to ride her throughout the campaign.”