La Diosa will have quiet campaign close to home
Leading southern filly La Diosa will be sparingly raced when she returns to competition in the new term.
The Group I New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner has begun her build-up toward a 4-year-old campaign after a break following mixed results from her Sydney campaign.
"She's been back for three weeks and she's ticking over nicely," said Matt Brown, who trains the daughter of So You Think with his wife Mandy.
"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."
Options there include the Coupland's Bakeries Mile or the Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders' Stakes.
A winner at two, La Diosa blossomed as a spring 3-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 IISurround stakes in her Australian debut.
Unfortunately, that was the only high point of the trip as she failed in subsequent starts on heavily rain-affected ground in the Coolmore, the Vinery Stud Stakes and in the ATC Oaks.
"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.
"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."
– NZ Racing Desk.