First G1 Winner for Pride of Dubai
Quality sprinting mare Bella Nipotina (5m Pride of Dubai x Bella Orfana, by Star Witness) has always promised to win a Group I and did the job in style at Moonee Valley on Saturday when the storm postponed Group I MVRC Manikato Stakes (1200m) was run as the very last race on an action-packed day of racing.
Trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Bella Nipotina was second in the Manikato last year when narrowly beaten by Jonker and just failed to catch Coolangatta at her previous run in the Group I MVRC Moir Stakes, but the daughter of Pride of Dubai made amends for those defeats with a resounding victory.
Group I placed three times previously, Bella Nipotina was overdue for an elite win and charged through along the inside for Craig Williams to bolt away and win by four and three-quarter lengths over Group I winner Rothfire with high class three year-old colt Best of Bordeaux a brave third.
“Early on it wasn’t a very nice watch, she didn’t quite sort of muster that well and she was back, but when they came off the fence she got a saloon run and she so deserves this, the whole team put so much into her and she’s so tough,” said David Eustace.
“It’s great to reward the owners, Michael Christian, the Johnson’s, the Porters, they are huge supporters of the stable and to top it off with a Group I win is very special.”
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 tidy record of six wins and 14 placings from 32 starts with earnings of $3.2million. 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 first Group I winner for Pride of Dubai, who stands at a fee of $16,500 this spring.