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Bella Nipotina's magical Manikato

Magnificent mare Bella Nipotina (Pride Of Dubai) scored a thoroughly deserving G1 victory in today’s Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, sending her large group of owners into hysterics.

The 5YO had been so close on several occasions at the top level and despite already a three-time Stakes winner and three times G1 placed, an all-important G1 win had previously eluded her. But that wrong was righted today when she proved too strong for a stellar field in the sprint feature of the Cox Plate Carnival.

Trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Bella Nipotina was purchased by Andrew Williams, Mount Hallowell Stud and Lindsay Park for $80,000 out of the Rosemont Stud draft at the 2019 Premier Yearling Sale. She is part-owned by her breeder Michael Christian of Longwood Thoroughbred Farm.

Now a six-time winner – with 14 minor placings – Bella Nipotina takes her career earnings to over $3.2m, a spectacular result for her large and boisterous legion of owners.

Connections had to wait an extra 24 hours for the win, with the Manikato initially scheduled for Friday night before being postponed to Saturday when a freak storm hit Mooney Valley on Friday night, forcing the race to be put back 24 hours.

“It’s amazing, it really is,’’ Christian said.

“We’ve strived for a while, we’ve bred some really good horses but never a Group 1 winner and now we’ve been able to breed this girl to go all the way to the top. I’m just absolutely thrilled.

“And the way she did it, she was so dominant, she’s just a freak.

“It’s been a long wait, a long night last night and a long day today to wait for the last race but it’s been just a fabulous experience.’’


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