IT DIDN’T take boom filly Nostra Villa long to return to the winners’ circle.
Successful at her first seven starts, Nostra Villa suffered her maiden defeat when a head second in a Breeders’ Crown semi at Bendigo last week.
Lining up in the Group One Final at Tabcorp Park Melton this afternoon, the Emma Stewart-trained two-year-old bounced back to the number one stall with a powerful display of speed and stamina.
Driven by Chris Alford, Nostra Villa was taken three-wide from her second row draw before settling in the ‘death seat’ as Our Bettor Joy led from barrier two.
Forging her way to the front at the top of the home straight, the daughter of Art Major staved off a late challenge from Our Angel Of Harlem – which enjoyed the perfect trip behind the pacemaker – to score by a head.
Molly Kelly, a stablemate of the winner, was six-and-a-half metres away third in 1:56.8 for the 2240-metre trip.
“She’s just a magnificent filly,” Stewart said. “At home on the training track she doesn’t show anything special, but she knows when it’s time for business.
“You can’t ask for more from her than what she has done.
“I’ll send her for a spell now and can’t see any reason why she won’t come back better again next season.”
A $24,000 Australian Pacing Gold purchase for Mervat and Anthony Caruana, Nostra Villa has bankrolled $269,590.
- PAUL COURTS