New Zealand trainer Shaune Ritchie has his sights set on a second Oaks victory with Miss Artistic when she kicks off her Winter Carnival campaign at the Gold Coast tomorrow.
Miss Artistic was sent for a short break after winning the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17 and Richie was very satisfied with the way the filly developed in such a short period of time.
“She put on weight while she was out and she has developed in that short time, I am really excited about the condition of the filly heading to her campaign,” Ritchie said.
After Saturday’s outing Ritchie will use the Group 3 $175,000 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben on May 19 as the final step into the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2.
Richie has snapped up leading rider Chris Munce for Miss Artistic’s Queensland debut in the Listed $125,000 H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) but expects the 1800m might be a bit short for the Darci Brahma filly on the tight Gold Coast circuit.
The Kiwi trainer took Miss Artistic to Matamata for a solid hit out before getting on the plane to Brisbane and was happy with her work out but is waiting until she gets to the bigger tracks to produce her best.
“It was a good solid work out,” Ritchie said.
“I did like the way she worked home strongly over the final 600 metres in a tick over 37s.”
Her style of racing is to get back in the field and Ritchie admits that the filly needs plenty of luck in her races which she got in the New Zealand Oaks.
“There would have been some races that she should have finished closer but she races back in her races and so sometimes she has had to be ridden for luck,” Ritchie said.
“In the Oaks she had everything fall into place and she showed that day her worth as a staying filly.”
Miss Artistic has opened the second favourite at $4.20 behind the Gerald Ryan trained Angel Of Mercy who heads the betting at $3.80 with Hidden Jewel next in line at $5.50.
The New Zealand Oaks winner has four wins from eleven starts in her homeland which include two Listed races at Ellerslie and really excelled when the distances got up to 2000m and over.
Ryan is heading on the same Oaks path with Angel Of Mercy who was sent to Queensland after winning the Listed $100,000 Sharp James H B Carr Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 28.
The Sydney trainer was keen to step the Hussonet filly up in distance after her win over 1400m and is looking to get a good gauge on her staying potential in the 1800m Bracelet.