Well performed New Zealand filly Keep The Peace is on track for a Myer Classic bid during this year’s Melbourne spring racing carnival.
Trainer Shaune Ritchie is looking at the Australian Group 1 to try and boost her stud value will she’s in peak racing condition.
This season she’s been a double Group 1 winner in New Zealand with victories in the Group 1 Mudgway Partsworld Stakes and Group 1 Otaki Classic.
While a defence of her Mudgway title would be well within her grasp, Ritchie has decided to make the trip to Melbourne where he see’s far more to be gained.
Keep the Peace will run first up in the Let’s Elope Stakes assuming she comes through her NZ barrier trials in good order.
It’s a trip she’s made before, in fact the filly has already placed at Group level in Australia.
‘Winning the Mudgway again is not going to help her as a broodmare whereas winning a Group race in Australia will,” Ritchie said.
“Keep The Peace is very good fresh and also in the wet so it might give her a bit of an edge first-up in the Let’s Elope Stakes.
“From there she can follow the fillies and mares series through to the Myer Classic.’
She won’t be alone when it comes to the kiwi girls invading our shores, in fact they are assembling a very good squad.
King’s Rose is already in Melbourne, she’s been transferred to Peter Moody’s stable and could make her debut as early as next month.
In New Zealand this season she won the Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas.
Her targets over the spring include the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes, Group 1 Toorak Handicap and also the Group 1 Myer Classic.
The Let’s Elope Stakes appears to be the common starting point with fellow kiwi runner Barinka also set for that task.
She won the Group 1 NZ thoroughbred Breeders Stakes this season and will have one run at home in the Group 3 Foxbridge Plate before heading across the Tasman.
After that she will have a quick back up for the Group 2 Stocks Stakes at Moonee Valley before going to stud with legendary sire Zabeel already booked in.
Depending on how she goes they may even be able to squeeze in a start in the Myer Classic or potentially the Group 1 series back at home.
The list continues to grow with the kiwi two year old star Anabandana alos with an Aussie ticket.
After winning the Group 1 Diamond Stakes and Group 1 Manawatu Sire’s Produce Stakes she’s attack the Melbourne fillies series culminating in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas.
One horse which will not be making the trip though is the New Zealand Oaks champion Midnight Oil.
She was set to be a real force in the spring however a bone chip in her hind leg has forced her withdrawal.
Trainer Paul Duncan says that her earliest possible return won’t be until October or November.
While her loss does detract from an otherwise crack squad, Queensland Oaks champion Scarlett Lady will still be a dominant player wearing the New Zealand flag in Melbourne.