New Zealand filly La Bella Diosa has reaffirmed her Australian Oaks favouritism with a tough Group Two win in difficult conditions at Randwick.
Trainers Mandy and Matt Brown brought the filly to Sydney to enhance her record, which includes the Group One Thousand Guineas at home.
Steady ran throughout Saturday forced the Randwick track to a heavy nine but La Bella Diosa ($9) travelled through it well and overtook dual Group One winner and $2.35 favourite Global Glamour in the straight.
Omei Sword ($9.50) was doing her best work late and also got past Global Glamour but was still 1-1/2 lengths astern.
“We weren’t really sure she would handle a track like that but obviously she did so it is all good,” Matt Brown said.
“She has always shown a lot. She won the (NZ) Thousand Guineas pretty well. The owners wanted to have a bit of a go at the Australian Oaks so we’ve come over early. To get a result like this is just great.”
Brown said the Keith Nolan Classic at Kembla Grange was the next logical step before the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m).
La Bella Diosa is the $6 favourite for the Oaks (2400m) on April 8.
The Browns kept the Kiwi connection by booking expat New Zealander Jason Collett to ride.
“I’m pretty happy to win for a fellow Kiwi. It makes it a bit more special,” he said.
“She flew through the ground.
“She did it easily. I was a bit worried once I got her up over the rise but she had a kick. She’s a classy filly.”