Kiwi filly Miss Artistic is on track for her second Oaks success and trainer Shaune Ritchie is expecting a very forward showing in the Group 3 $175,000 Hidden Dragon The Roses (2000m) at Doomben tomorrow.
Miss Artistic’s main Winter gaol in the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 and she is on target for her second Oaks win after taking out the Group 1 NZ$300,000 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17.
Ritchie gave the Darci Brahma filly a short ease up after winning the New Zealand classic and was happy with her fourth at the Gold Coast behind Scorpio Queen in the Listed $125,000 H Harvey Prestige Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) two weeks ago.
“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.”
Premiership jockey Chris Munce will stick with Miss Artistic tomorrow and in the Oaks and is hoping to give Ritchie his first Group 1 success on Australian soil.
The Cambridge trainer has won several Group 1s in New Zealand including two Oaks and a Derby and is hoping to take home another Oaks trophy in June.
“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” Ritchie 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.”
Munce will give Miss Artistic a good run from barrier nine but the Gerald Ryan trained Angel Of Mercy is in for a torrid time coming out of gate fifteen if all the emergencies are scratched.
Ryan has no concerns in backing up Angel Of Mercy after the filly scored an easy win over 1600m in a Benchmark 90 Handicap at Doomben last week, but is a little bit worried about the horror gate.
“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.”
Miss Artistic ($5) has just got the nod over Angel Of Mercy ($6) for favouritism for the Roses with the Gold Coast Bracelet winner Scorpio Queen breathing down their necks at $6.50.
Peter Snowden’s filly Angelus is next in line at $7 with the Schweppes Oaks winner Invest at $10.