Improved La Diosa set for quiet campaign ahead of NZ spring

Le Diosa

LEADING southern filly La Diosa will be sparingly-raced when she returns to competition in the new term.

The New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner has begun its build-up toward a four-year-old campaign after a break following mixed results from her Sydney campaign.

The horse’s trainer Matt Brown said while he has no immediate plans for the future, La Diosa will be starting its preparation at home in New Zealand.

“She’s been back for three weeks and she’s ticking over nicely,” Brown said.

“We’re not making any great plans and she’ll probably have a quiet year and we’ll see how she comes up with maybe a couple of starts at the Riccarton carnival.”

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There are a pair of group races Brown could potentially target, including the Group Two Coupland’s Bakeries Mile or the Group Three Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes.

A winner at two, La Diosa blossomed as a spring three-year-old to collect Listed victories in the Canterbury Belle Stakes and the Barneswood Farm Stakes before she was too good for Bella Gioia in the 1000 Guineas.

She crossed the Tasman earlier this year and made an instant impact when she beat the Chris Waller-trained Omei Sword in the Group Two Surround Stakes in her Australian debut.

The win against the Waller horse was the only high point of the trip as it failed in subsequent starts on heavily rain-affected ground in the Group One Coolmore, the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes and in the Group One ATC Oaks.

The trainer said La Diosa did not make it through the heavier tracks as the preparation rolled on.

“We know she doesn’t like wet tracks, but she handled the first one because it was loose,” Brown said.

“We probably should have pulled the pin a bit earlier. She went horribly in the Oaks and struggled to get the 2400 metres.”

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Brown now thinks the horse has come back in great order and will benefit greatly from the experience of a difficult Australian campaign.

“She was pretty tired after that and she had a good break. She had two months in the paddock and she looks a lot stronger, she’s pretty happy in herself.”