Mo Celita in top shape as Nicholls considers next step

Adrian Nicholls is on the hunt for black-type form as he plots the next move of his swiftly-improving filly Mo Celita.

The three-year-old was obtained from Willie McCreery’s yard in Kildare in April and made a winning debut for her new stable later in the month when taking a selling race at Leicester by a nose.

That victory was the first of an unbeaten five-race spell that included two further sellers and progression to a pair of class four handicaps at Haydock.

The winning streak was brought to an end in the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes at Royal Ascot, where Mo Celita came home in fifth in a tight finish when crossing the line just a length behind the winner, Karl Burke’s Significantly.

Nicholls was pleased with the performance and will now target a race at Listed level or better for his next outing.

“She’s really well, she’s in good form,” he said.

“She’s got a couple of entries this week, she’s in at York on Friday and Saturday. She came out of Ascot very well so we’re just thinking now about where we want to go.

“She probably wasn’t drawn in the best place at Ascot but she ran a blinder, she’s got a Timeform rating of 105 now so she’s done remarkably well.

“We’ll try to get her some black type now and then just go from there for this year.”

Mo Celita is entered in both the Group Three Summer Stakes and the Listed City Walls Stakes at York at the end of the week, and also holds an entry for the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood.

“There are a lot of options so it’s just about trying to pick the best one,” Nicholls said.

“I’m not one to be afraid of one or two horses, there’s always something and someone else who fancies theirs.

“She’s still in the Stewards’ Cup, which is a massive pot for a handicap, for a small yard it’s a bit of an honour to have something to go into those races with such a good chance.”

Mo Celita is owned jointly by David Howden and David Redvers, the latter the racing manager to the Qatar Racing operation, and has made herself a firm favourite in Nicholls’ North Yorkshire stable.

“You wouldn’t know she’s in the yard,” he said.

“She’s a diamond really, she’s lovely to do and she’s a great ride.

“She’s very easy, I just wish I had a few more like her.”

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