Focused bid on Guineas

Bella Gioia clearing out at Taupo to beat It's Time For Magic, a subsequent stakes winner and race rival at Riccarton tomorrow.

Bella Gioia clearing out at Taupo to beat It’s Time For Magic, a subsequent stakes winner and race rival at Riccarton tomorrow.

Shaune Ritchie will try something different at Riccarton tomorrow with Bella Gioia in his quest for a first Gr.1 gavelhouse.com NZ 1000 Guineas title.

“She will have the addition of blinkers this weekend,” said Ritchie. “She travelled down here well and had no issues with the flight at all so we’re very happy with her condition.”

A two-year-old winner, Bella Gioia doubled her tally when she was successful at Taupo before she got home strongly for fourth in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings.

The daughter of Swiss Ace then finished seventh in the Gr.2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa.

“She has improved since the Sarten,” said Ritchie. “We expected a little more and I’ve got to put my hand up. I left her a bit pretty.”

Bella Gioia is currently a $7.00 chance in the Guineas behind the $2.80 favourite La Diosa.

“I think they’ve got it right – the So You Think filly deserves to be at the top of the market — but if my filly brings her A Game then La Diosa will need to be at her top,” said Ritchie.

Meanwhile, stablemate Bee Tee Junior will be given his chance in the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup.

“Initially, I was going to run him in the 2500 metres race on the undercard, but Bloodstream paid up and it looks his race,” said Ritchie.

“If it rains, and it’s looking ominous, then I know Bee Tee Junior will run the two miles. He’s in great order and in on the minimum.

“If it does rain and it becomes testing then he’ll keep plugging away. He’s a longshot and he’s entitled to be, but he’s a longshot that can win.”

– NZ Racing Desk.