La Chica Bella might have a few peculiar traits but there is no denying her ability, with the mare adding to her record with a strong victory at Rosehill.
Trainer Joe Pride has her pretty much worked out but admits she keeps him on his toes.
“She’s pretty quirky and it’s all on her terms in everything we do,” Pride said.
“She’s originally from Tasmania and doesn’t like the high temperatures up here, which is why she is in now.
“I told Rachel (King) to ride her like she would one of Gai’s.
“By that I meant if she got to the lead or close to it, to keep her going and make it a test of her stamina.
“It was a 10 out of 10 ride from Rachel.”
King, who is apprenticed to the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott stable, carried out the instructions to the letter in Saturday’s 1500m benchmark race for mares.
La Chica Bella ($4.40) and Token Of Love ($17) shared the early lead, with the former assuming control in the straight and kicking clear.
Lady Evelyn ($13) gave chase but came up 1-3/4 lengths short on the line, with favourite So Splendid ($3.90) a long neck third.
Pride said he believed La Chica Bella could eventually be stretched to 2000m.
“There’s an 1800-metre race here for her in a fortnight. I think we can try her over that and then maybe even further” he said.
“She keeps stepping up. She is the only horse I’ve ever had that you put in the swimming pool and she goes even faster on the last lap.
“She’s not very big. She has a small chassis but a big engine.”