Jack Milner: La Bella Mia drops in class and is expected to win Race 6 at Turffontein today. Or, as they would say in Italian “La Bela Mia per Vincere”.
La Bella Mia’s last three races were all Graded races in which she took on the colts. On Saturday she lines up in a Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares over 1000m and she could be very hard to beat in this Turffontein race on the Standside track.
Three runs back this Weiho Marwing-trained filly contested the Grade 2 Post Merchants over 1200m at Greyville and stormed home to beat Wynkelder and eventual Sprinter-Of-The-Year Kasimir. As it was handicap, she came in with a competitive weight of 51.5kg.
Marwing kept her in Durban to race in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint over the same course and distance. However, as this was run at weights-for-age terms, La Bella Mia met her opponents at a massive weight disadvantage. Despite that, she still ran well enough to be beaten just 5.30 lengths by Kasimir.
The daughter of Gimmethegreenlight returned to Johannesburg and came out to run in the Grade 3 Spring Spree Stakes over 1200m on the Inside track at Turffontein and although drifting in the betting from an opening call of 11-2 to go off at 14-1, she did well to finish a 1.10-length fourth behind dead-heaters Prince Of Kahal and Angel’s Power.
In Saturday’s race, she comes in as the best handicapped runner and is at least 1kg better off with her opposition. The fact she will be back against her own age group will be hugely in her favour.
Dalai’s Promise is the next best handicapped runner but on form she has little chance of beating La Bella Mia. In her last race, which was over this course and distance and getting 5.5kg, she was beaten three lengths by Prince Of Kahal.
La Bella Mia received 2kg and was beaten 1.10 lengths. In this race Dalai’s Promise will get 1,5kg from La Bella Mia which makes it tricky for her to reverse the form with Marwing’s runner.
Muzi Yeni has the ride on La Bella Mia while S’manga Khumalo will be aboard Dalai’s Promise.
Two possible dangers are Sarah and Nicky Noo, not because they have the form to beat the other two but because they have 4kg claiming apprentices up.
Sarah has not raced since finishing fourth to African Warrior in July while Nicky Noo came back from a layoff last time and ran out quite an impressive winner, beating Mercer Girl by 3.50 lengths. Both will carry just 51.5kg and that could put them in a very strong position.
Race 7 is another Pinnacle Stakes, this time over 1400m, and Infamous Fox stands out as the horse they all have to beat. He is very well handicapped and last time in the Grade 1 Champions Cup over 1800m at Greyville, was beaten just 3.60 lengths by Rainbow Bridge, one of the highest rated runners in the country, despite meeting at level weights.