ED SADLER Article – Racing.com

If Bella Nipotina was human, she would stand out from the crowd.

That’s according to her jockey Craig Williams, who has enjoyed a strong association with the mare over the past three years.

“She’s quite sassy,” Williams said.

“I would say if she’s going out to a nightclub and she was dressing up, she’d have black lipstick and black nail polish.

“I find, being her regular rider, if you give her a pat and she’s happy, that’s a very good sign and if she’s not happy, you just leave her alone because she’s just got that instinct of competition and she shows it in her mannerisms as well, but it obviously makes her a great racehorse.”

Bella Nipotina will contest Saturday’s $5 million slot race in Western Australia, The Quokka, which she ran third in last year.

Although the 2022 Group 1 Manikato Stakes heroine hasn’t won this campaign, Williams has been pleased with how she’s performed, including her latest effort in the G1 T.J. Smith Stakes, where she beat all bar Chain Of Lightning.

“I think she’s got that feeling of timing and presence about her, she’s been so competitive every run that she’s had this preparation, she hasn’t run a bad race,” he said.

“Last time in Sydney in the T.J., there’s not many times when you hold off Imperatriz or I Wish I Win and you’re not winning the race, but she was really good.

“She did also get conditions that she relishes, bit more softer footing for her. It doesn’t mean that she needs softer ground, but I think she does have a sense of timing going into The Quokka on Saturday.”

WATCH: Bella Nipotina’s T.J. Smith Stakes run

Bella Nipotina’s trainer Ciaron Maher revealed that the six-year-old had arrived in Perth in good order following her trip to Sydney.

“She packed her bags on Monday after the T.J., flew over there and she’s been trot and cantering on the beach every day, so she’s enjoying herself,” Maher said.

“She had a very easy gallop today, she’ll just tick over again, she’s obviously very fit from recent racing. As we’ve seen, she loves that little bit of give in the track.

“If she can get it, it doesn’t usually happen in Perth, but we had a shower last year, so hopefully we can get the same again.”

Bella Nipotina will run in Sportsbet’s slot for The Quokka, who have her at $4.80 for the lucrative sprint race.

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