My Bella Mae will showcase her Winterbottom Stakes credentials when resuming at Belmont, with owner-breeder Nino Tufilli confident she can brush aside a disappointing interstate autumn campaign.
Holding a perfect record of two wins from two starts when first-up, My Bella Mae, off a winning trial, will look to rebound strongly on home soil and win the $100,000 Jolly Beggar Stakes (1000m) on Saturday.
Trained by Dion Luciani, My Bella Mae made a spectacular start to her racing career by winning her opening three races last year, culminating with a maiden stakes victory in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m).
In the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) she was beaten, but far from disgraced when running a competitive ninth, beaten just under four lengths against a crack Group 1 field at just her fourth career start.
Tufilli took My Bella Mae to Melbourne after she won her second Listed race: the Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) in February, but high expectations of interstate success were dampened following two disappointing runs.
At Moonee Valley she ran fifth in the Group 3 Typhoon Tracey Stakes (1200m) and fared little better with only three ahead of her when ninth in the Bendigo Guineas over 1400m.
With the benefit of hindsight Tufilli said he erred in sending My Bella Mae to Melbourne.
“I regret going,” Tufilli told The Races WA.
“It was my fault, I pushed Dion to get her over there.
“She probably should have gone out to the paddock for a spell.
“She should have had a little let up and stayed in Perth.”
Tufilli said My Bella Mae had improved after her second trial at Belmont.
In a four-horse field she worked home strongly to overhaul Searchin’ Roc’s.
“We’re happy with her coat now and it’s all coming out nicely,” Tufilli said.
“There’s a lot of nice ones there in the race.
“As long as she runs a good race that’s fine.”
Tufilli said My Bella Mae will have a cameo campaign before targeting the Winterbottom Stakes for a second time at Ascot in December.
“We haven’t really decided yet what’s after Saturday,” Tufilli said.
“It all depends on how she goes.
“We’ll wait for a Listed race over the distances we want to go.
“The Winterbottom Stakes is the main goal.”
From eight outings, My Bella Mae, a daughter of Deep Field, has won five races.
With Pat Carbery in the saddle, My Bella Mae jumps from barrier five in the Jolly Beggar.