Nancho Bella on stakes path

Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan will make a definite decision after acceptances today whether Nanco Bella gets a crack at black type this weekend or waits a bit longer.

Nancho Bella has been entered for the Listed $50,000 Windsor Park Stud Rotorua Stakes at Rotorua on Saturday and a tilt at the Listed $50,000 James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) at Awapuni next weekend is also being considered for the in-form mare.

“I’m having second thoughts about running her this weekend,” said Brennan. “The field is a bit hotter than I expected, but we’ll just wait and see what she draws and how the field looks after acceptances. She’ll either run in this one or might go to the Rangitikei Gold Cup the following Saturday.”

Nancho Bella has had just one start in a black type race and that was as a three-year-old last season when she contested the Group III Ezibuy Eulogy Stakes (1600m) and finished ninth to King’s Rose. “She was ridden a bit upside down that day. She was in front and it didn’t suit her,” recalled Brennan.

Nancho Bella had been a one-race winner when she contested the Eulogy Stakes and since then she has won another two races, the first at Te Aroha and the most recent being last start at Tauranga. In the latter victory she fought best to beat Miss Sharapova over 1600 metres and she drops 200m this weekend.

Nancho Bella is owned in New Caledonia by “JR” Marinacce and has been in pursuit of a suitable black type race for some time. “Things just haven’t worked out until now,” said Brennan. “She’s in solid form and is so consistent. She tries hard.”

If Nancho Bella starts this weekend she will be ridden by Mark Sweeney, who was aboard in her Tauranga success.

Meantime Doctor Freemantle, a stablemate of Nancho Bella, has been turned out for a spell.

“It’s not decided whether he will go to Australia for a spring campaign or go to stud,” said Brennan.

Doctor Freemantle has failed to win in his 10 starts since he came to New Zealand, but he has managed a few notable placings. He was third to Shez Sinsational and Veyron in the Group I Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie last Boxing Day and third to Riomoral in the Group II Lawnmaster Awapuni Gold Cup.