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Group One mare in mint condition

La (Bella) Diosa winning the Gr.2 Surround Stakes - Bradley Photography
La (Bella) Diosa winning the Gr.2 Surround Stakes

Bradley Photography

La Diosa is in prime order as she bids to add another Riccarton feature to her record.

Last season’s Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) winner has thrived ahead of Wednesday’s Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m).

“We’re very happy with her, it’s a big test against the older horses but we’re sure she’ll give her best,” said Mandy Brown, who trains La Diosa with her husband Matt.

The daughter of So You Think’s victory in the Guineas 12 months ago earned her a post-Christmas campaign in Sydney, which started perfectly with a first-up success in the Gr.2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.

La Diosa’s form tailed off in three subsequent starts and she returned home for a break with any nagging doubts about her coming back to form dispelled after two promising performances to open her current preparation.

The four-year-old has finished fourth in both her 1400m starts at Riccarton.

“She’s very well and we were especially pleased with her last run,” Brown said. “She hit the line really hard, she was just coming into it. It was exactly what we wanted to see from her.”

Regular rider Racha Cuneen will continue his association with the mare, who will appreciate the step up to a mile.

“It will suit her and she’s trained on really well. She’s a fit and happy horse.” Brown said.

Whatever the outcome on Wednesday, La Diosa is bound for the paddock.

“She’ll be having a wee break and while she’s out we’ll be deciding where we progress to,” Brown said. – NZ Racing Desk.