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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Monday, February 27 2017

Hugh Bowman has been confirmed as the rider for top Kiwi filly La Bella Diosa in her next Sydney assignment.

La Bella Diosa - Bradley Photographers

Bowman had been approached to ride La Bella Diosa in her Australian debut last Saturday, but had a commitment for Omei Sword so former New Zealand jockey Jason Collett picked up the winning mount on the So You Think filly in the Gr.2 Surround Stakes.

Collett will be serving a suspension when La Bella Diosa next races in the Gr.3 A$200,000 Keith F. Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 10 and the filly's trainers Matt and Mandy Brown are thrilled to secure Bowman.

"He told his agent to definitely take the mount," said Matt Brown, who had the engagement confirmed on Monday.

"It's just for the one race at this stage. We're in a good position because they (Bowman and Collett) have both got the same agent so if we can't get him for the next race we could get Jason again. We couldn't be happier with Jason. He rode her well."

Bowman landed a major international double during the weekend when extending the winning sequence on champion mare Winx in the Gr.1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick then flying to Hong Kong to win the Gr.1 Hong Kong Gold Cup on former New Zealand galloper Werther.

He also got a good opportunity to assess the talent of La Bella Diosa when guiding the Chris Waller-trained Omei Sword into a solid-finishing second in the Surround Stakes, which was run on a heavy9 surface. La Bella Diosa, having her first start since her impressive win in the Gr.1 NZ 1000 Guineas, scored by a length and a half after diving through along the inside and racing clear.

"She loafed towards the end," Brown said. "With the New Zealand form you never know how they're going to measure up over there, but she showed she could compete up to that class."

Brown, who flew back to New Zealand on Monday, says La Bella Diosa has come through the race in good order.

"She ate up well and looks good," he said. "She'll have a quiet week then get ready for the Kembla Grange race.

"Mandy and I are amazed how well she has settled in at Randwick. She's at John Sargent's stable and it's worked out perfectly."

La Bella Diosa's main mission is the Gr.1 A$1 million ATC Oaks at Randwick on April 8 and she will round off her preparation for the 2400-metre feature in the Gr.1 A$500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 25.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 03:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email