Miss Artistic pleasing Shaune Ritchie
Shaune Ritchie is aware of the difficulty in peaking three-year-olds twice in one season but believes the signs are encouraging for New Zealand Oaks winner Miss Artistic.by AAP
By Glenn Davis
BRISBANE, May 18 AAP - Shaune Ritchie is aware of the difficulty in peaking three-year-olds twice in one season but believes the signs are encouraging for New Zealand Oaks winner Miss Artistic.
Ritchie is confident Miss Artistic has taken the necessary improvement following her fourth in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) on May 5 to be a major threat in the Group Three Roses at Doomben on Saturday.
"I'm confident there's at least one length improvement in her from the Gold Coast run," Ritchie said.
"She hadn't run for a while before the Bracelet and I was a little concerned I had been too soft on her before the Bracelet.
"The Queensland Oaks is her main goal and she's come through the Gold Coast Bracelet well.
"If she doesn't finish in the first three tomorrow I'll be very disappointed with her grand final so close."
Ritchie has yet to win a Group One race in Australia but is hopeful of ending the drought with Miss Artistic in the Queensland Oaks (2400m) on June 2.
"I've won two of the last three Oaks in New Zealand with (Miss) Artistic and Keep the Peace and I won a New Zealand Derby with Military Move" he said.
"I've had a great run in Group One races at home but I'm yet to do it over the ditch.
"I'm sure Miss Artistic will run a good race tomorrow but it's hard to peak any three-year-old twice in a season.
"There's been some champion three-year-olds in the past that couldn't do it."
Queensland's leading jockey Chris Munce is booked to ride Miss Artistic in The Roses and in the Queensland Oaks.
Fellow trainer Gerald Ryan is more concerned about Angel of Mercy's barrier 19 than the seven-day back-up from her Doomben victory to The Roses.
"She's got an awkward barrier but she races back in the field so hopefully they'll go hard up front," Ryan said.
"I'm not concerned about backing her up and her work is good."
Angel of Mercy weighed 511 kilograms on the eve of her Doomben victory and was only three kilograms lighter the following day.
"She's a big girl and to lose three kilos is nothing for her," Ryan said.
Ryan, who has won two Queensland Oaks with Mon Mekki (2002) and Arctic Scent (1996), paid $180,000 for Angel of Mercy at the Magic Millions sales.
"I fell in love with her straight away when I first spotted her at the sales," Ryan said.
"She was a great looking filly and the pick of the sales in my opinion."