Options in Guineas lead-up

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

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

Smart Cambridge filly Bella Gioia will be nominated for both feature three-year-old races this Labour Weekend.

Trainer Shaune Ritchie is keeping his options open with Bella Gioia, who is currently the $6 second favourite behind $4.50 market leader La Diosa for the Gr.1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

“She’s nominated for the Soliloquy Stakes on Saturday, but we are keeping a close eye on the recovery of the Ellerslie track and I don’t want to run her if it’s heavy,” said Ritchie.

“We’ll also nominate for the Sarten Memorial and perhaps we’ll end up taking on the colts on Monday.”

The daughter of Swiss Ace was a winner at Te Rapa last season and began her three-year-old campaign on a top note when she was successful at Taupo in August. The runner-up on that occasion was the subsequent Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes winner, It’s Time For Magic.

Bella Gioia then headed south to Hawke’s Bay for the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes and she got home late for fourth after dropping back from the outside gate.

“While it was disappointing not to get a stakes placing, from the bigger picture point of view it was good to see her settle and then pick up and find the line strongly so you would think a mile won’t be an issue,” said Ritchie.

The Ritchie stable may also have one more representative at Riccarton with Bee Tee Junior’s travel plans resting on his next performance.

“He holds a nomination for the New Zealand Cup and he’ll take his place on Melbourne Cup day at Ellerslie and if he performs well there over 2400 metres he’ll go south with the filly,” said Ritchie.

– NZ Racing Desk.