Bella Nipotina Wins $3million Giga Kick
The $3million ATC Giga Kick Stakes (1300m) was supposed to be a benefit for Joe Pride and Proven Thoroughbreds with raging hot favourite Think About It (5g So You Think x Tiare,by Flying Spur) and his stablemate Private Eye expected to fight out the finish as they did in the Everest two weeks ago, but nobody told Bella Nipotina (6m Pride of Dubai x Bella Orfana, by Star Witness) and she stuck her chestnut head into the mix right on the line to snatch a shock victory.
An outstanding sprinter and a Group I winner, the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Bella Nipotina won the Group I MVRC Manikato Stakes last year and since then has placed in a further six elite sprint races albeit without winning.
Halfway down the straight it was looking like the six year-old mare was headed for another placing, but she quite literally sprouted wings for Craig Williams to dive through a narrow gap to claim victory over Private Eye with Think About It ending his nine race winning sequence with a gallant third.
"It feels like a Group One because she toppled The Everest winner and some smart horses behind her," co-trainer David Eustace said.
"It's quick ground out there, she won the Manikato very impressively last year on wet ground and she was probably billed as just a wet tracker, but I think she proved that wrong this prep.
"She has had her foot on the till, and she's got the job done."
Craig Williams gave the mare a brilliant ride which was the difference between winning and losing.
"We had a plan if she jumped to go forward, we didn't think there was a lot of speed in the race," Eustace said.
"Craig rode her beautifully, she got the split just at the right time. If it was any later, she wouldn't have got there.
"She has just been racing so well this prep and we came into the race really confident of her running a massive race because she had been building and building and building."
An $80,000 Inglis Premier purchase for Lindsay Park Racing / Andrew Williams Bloodstock / Mt Hallowell Stud from the Rosemont stud draft, Bella Nipotina was bred by Michael Christian and partners at Longwood Thoroughbred Farm and they retain a share in her ownership.
She has the impressive record of seven wins and 20 placings from 42 starts with earnings topping $6million. Bella Nipotina is the first foal of Bella Orfana, a placed sibling by Star Witness to Group winners Hallowell Belle and Fuddle Dee Duddle from the family of Group I Caulfield Guineas winner In Top Swing.
Bella Nipotina is the highest stakes earner for Pride of Dubai, who added a new Group I winner to his tally at Flemington when Pride of Jenni won the Group I VRC Empire Rose Stakes.
Pride of Dubai stands at a fee of $27,500 and is a great choice for a late season covering when you need a good affordable stallion with good fertility.