Bella Nipotina gets the head down in Giga Kick Stakes

Bella Nipotina (inside) gets her head down to claim the Giga Kick Stakes. Photo: Racing NSW

Bella Nipotina (+800) has caused a minor upset in the Giga Kick Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday, storming up the inside running rail to score under Craig Williams.

The $3 million feature had been touted as a two-horse affair as the Everest (1200m) pair of Think About It (-105.26) and Private Eye (+160) locked horns once again; however, it was the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained mare going under the radar of most.

She put the writing on the wall last start, powering into a third-place finish in the Group 3 Sydney Stakes (1200m), only a race prior to the Everest, and proved on Saturday, she wouldn’t have been out of place in the $20 million feature.

It was an excellent steer from senior jockey Craig Williams slicing through the inside running rail, despite not having much room to manoeuvre.

At one stage you would’ve been forgiven thinking Private Eye had pinched a big enough break, but Bella Nipotina showed plenty of fight to secure a nose victory.

2023 Giga Kick Stakes – Bella Nipotina | T: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace | J: Craig Williams

Co-trainer David Eustace was on course to represent the stable at Rosehill and spoke glowingly on his talented mare.

“I’m so proud of her and so pleased for the ownership group,” said Eustace.

“We had a plan if she jumped to go forward, we didn’t think there was a lot of speed in the race.

“Craig (Williams) 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.

“The team have had her in great order, it’s the best she has looked for a long, long time. It’s a big thrill.”

Craig Williams knows this mare well, already steering her to Group 1 success in the past and spoke to her promise she showed prior to today’s win.

“She walked in the yard and she just looked amazing today,” said Williams.

“Her performance last time I said would warrant that she’d run top four or five in The Everest, that’s how good she was and we still only ran third.

“They came here to 1300m and we still draw a wide barrier.

“I’ve never ridden the 1300m start before so I rang a really good friend of mine, Rodney Quinn, and asked him what to do. And apart from giving me some heads up – I don’t want to tell everyone what he told me, he said pray a little bit.”

“But again, I can only do what I do as a jockey providing I have the horse and Bella Nipotina, I was lucky enough to win a Group One on her, very dominant, 12 months ago.”

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