Viva Vienna claims Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes

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In a thrilling performance at on Saturday, three-year-old filly Viva Vienna once again showcased her potential as a strong contender for the prestigious (1600m) in November.

The Listed Stakes (1200m) was the stage for her latest victory, solidifying her reputation as a top-class runner.

Facing off against her arch-rival , expectations were high for a fierce showdown, given their previous encounter at the same venue just a fortnight ago.

During their previous clash, Viva Vienna had led the way with Illicit Dreams on her heels.

However, in this race, Illicit Dreams took an early lead from a wide barrier, with Viva Vienna and Sam Weatherley strategically positioned in her wake.

As they entered the final 300m, Illicit Dreams surged forward to create a gap, but Viva Vienna found her stride and, once free from traffic, unleashed a powerful surge in the closing moments of the race.

In a nail-biting finish, Viva Vienna managed to overtake her rival in the last few , maintaining her undefeated record in two runs this campaign.

Sam Bergerson, co-trainer of Viva Vienna alongside , commented on the race , stating, “We knew she would jump well and put herself there, but we discussed having the option to take a sit and that was the winning of the race in the end. We got a breather in behind and then came off her (Illicit Dreams) back, so it was a really good ride.”

Bergerson also discussed Viva Vienna's prospects for the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas, saying, “The 1000 Guineas is a lovely target for her if she stretches out to that distance. We will get her home and see how she does and then make a plan.”

Sam Weatherley, Viva Vienna's jockey, was impressed by her performance, particularly in the final stages of the race.

He commented, “The most part was the last little bit, and she is doing everything right. She now has some black type behind her, and I don't see why she can't push on from this. She settled well and attacked the line, so I'm thrilled for everyone involved.”

In response to Viva Vienna's victory, online Bookmakers adjusted her Fixed Odds price to +1100 for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas, highlighting her status as a formidable contender.

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