La Bella Diosa seeks atonement

La Bella Diosa returns to the scene of the ugliest run of her career when New Zealand’s stand-out filly strives to make amends at Rosehill in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

Co-trainer Mandy Brown confirmed the New Zealand 1000 Guineas champion, and winner of her Australian debut in the Surround Stakes at Randwick last month, would seek redemption on Saturday for an out of character effort in the Group One Coolmore Classic.

La Bella Diosa tailed the 19-strong Coolmore field on March 11, crossing 10 lengths behind the winner Heavens Above to prompt a battery of tests.

Brown reiterated the puggy consistency of the track was a contributing factor to the low point of La Bella Diosa’s eight-race resume while a veterinary inspection also revealed she might have been hampered by an allergic reaction.

“I really put it down to the holding nature of the track and she did come out of it with an inflammation in her lungs,” Brown said.

“The vet suspects she’s got an allergy to something.

“Whether it’s something in the climate here, in the atmosphere that affects her, a plant …. who knows? We have to hope we’ve managed to get on top of it.”

La Bella Diosa had a lung flush after the Coolmore and vets at Randwick and Racing NSW passed her fit to run in Saturday’s 2000m Group One race for three-year-old fillies.

“Now I suppose you’ve just got to see how she performs and if we’re concerned at all about her welfare then we’ll go through the same process that we went through after the Coolmore,” Brown said.

Encouragingly Jason Collett, who rode her in the Surround, put La Bella Diosa through her paces on Tuesday and was pleased with the first major work since her setback, despite humidity reaching 92 per cent.

“We did come out of the Coolmore thinking ‘Oh God is she not a hundred per cent?'” Brown said.

“Jason was more than happy with her work and said she felt just as good when he galloped her prior to the Surround.

La Bella Diosa is the $4.60 second favourite with the TAB behind Foxplay ($3.50).

Brown will be understandably edgy on race day although La Bella Diosa has been eating hungrily and appears content.

“I still raise a question mark over going back to Rosehill, where you’ve sort of had a dud run.,” she said.

Brown was unsure whether La Bella Diosa would back up in next week’s Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick or prepare for the Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 8, with the call dependent on Saturday’s run.

“My preference,” Brown said, “would be the Oaks.”

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