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Bella Nipotina set for Lightning Stakes return

Ciaron Maher credits the variety of training establishments the stable can utilise in bringing out the best in Bella Nipotina who is on the cusp of starting another campaign. 

Bella Nipotina is slated to run in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday, kick starting her tenth campaign. 

The daughter of Pride Of Dubai started her career as a two-year-old with David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig before transferring to the care of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace for her three-year-old season. 

Maher and Eustace travelled the mare extensively, racing her on the eastern seaboard of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne along with trips to Adelaide and Perth. 

Rarely has Bella Nipotina disappointed Maher. 

Maher said the rising seven-year-old has returned in outstanding order and completed her preparation for the Lightning Stakes by finishing second in a Cranbourne 800m trial last week. 

Bella Nipotina, picture Racing Photos

Bella Nipotina spends the majority of her time down at Maher's Fingal property on the Mornington Peninsula. 

"She was trained at a farm when she was in Sydney when she beat the Joe Pride horses (Private Eye and Think About)," Maher said. 

"She was trained on the beach up there and she trains down at Fingal, which is our beach place down here. 

"She likes that softer environment." 

Bella Nipotina commenced her autumn campaign 12 months ago running third in the Lightning Stakes behind then stablemate Coolangatta and I Wish I Win. 

She then went on to run second to Imperatriz in the William Reid Stakes and third in The Quokka over in Perth. 

"She ran a slashing race last year and she's just an honest mare," Maher said. 

"I'm rapt with her. 

"She looks as good as she ever has, if not better and she trialled up pretty well." 

Maher will unlikely see Bella Nipotina's preferred ground that has some give in it, but a potential transfer to Sydney later in the autumn might see those conditions prevail. 

"I've been saying for years I can't wait to see her on a wet track, but we haven't been able to find one," Maher said. 

"Last spring in Sydney it was hard, so maybe up there in the autumn we might get a wet one." 

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