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Bella MenteEl Roca Fillies Heading to Group 1

The El Roca fillies Bella Mente and First Rock are likely to clash as they represent their sire in next week’s Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes Gr.1 at Awapuni.

Trained by Shaune Ritchie at Cambridge, Bella Mente has done nothing wrong in her career to date having had three starts for a win and a third from her first two starts and was only beaten 2.2 lengths by subsequent Group 1 placegetter Aretha when finishing fourth in the Matamata Breeders Stakes Gr.2 at Matamata in February. Bella Mente spent seven days in the paddock post her last run and should head to Manawatu in tip-top order for her connections, while Group 1 winning jockey Samantha Collett will take the mount.

The form around Bella Mente looks very strong with Aretha (Charm Spirit) and Aalaalune (Reliable Man) taking the Matamata form to Ellerslie when finishing second and third to Your Deel in the Sistema Stakes Gr.1 while Killin (Snitzel) - who was second to Bella Mente when she won – made his Australian debut on Wednesday when finishing a good second to A$1,200,000 yearling Dresden Green (Snitzel).

El Roca will also have impressive last start winner First Rock take her place in the second of the country’s Group 1 races for juveniles next Saturday. The Debbie Sweeney trained filly scored a super win at Matamata recently when clearing out to win easily from Glinda Goodwitch (Per Incanto), Checkers (Nom de Jeu), and Moeraki (El Roca).

First Rock was narrowly beaten in the first two-year-old race of the seasaon at Whanganui and now has a record of a win and three seconds from her five career starts.

Pictured: Bella Mente

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