Australian focus for Ritchie

Snow Secret showing her winning style at Dargaville. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Snow Secret showing her winning style at Dargaville. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Shaune Ritchie will be shooting for an inter-state double in Australia on Saturday.

The Cambridge trainer has accompanied the black type-winning filly No Pushover to Queensland where she will run in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet on Saturday while Snow Secret will be in action at Flemington.

“Snow Secret’s in a Benchmark Handicap and she’s probably our best chance,” said Ritchie.

“If she runs really well there is a Listed race, the Centaur Stakes, in Adelaide we would have a look at.”

Fourth in the Gr. 2 Wellington Cup in January, Snow Secret returned from a break to win over a mile last month and then finished third to Saint Emilion in a middle distance open handicap.

“She was a little bit under done at Ellerslie last time out and the track was a bit firmer than she likes,” said Ritchie.

“With a good sole of grass at Flemington she will be better-suited and she can sit back and get home.”

Ritchie is also hoping for a successful ending to his association with the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes winner No Pushover.

“The step up in class is the question mark, but she’s at the end of her preparation and we thought we would give her this race and then she’ll go to my brother Craig in Sydney,” he said.

“We’ll have to see how she copes with the 1800 metres on Saturday. She ran the mile out strongly enough at Christchurch.”

No Pushover finished sixth when backed up a week later over 2000 metres in the Listed Warstep Stakes.

“It was run in a very different style and she wasn’t really given the chance to run it out,” said Ritchie.

No Pushover will be ridden by Luke Dittman, the son of former champion jockey Mick who has enjoyed a lucrative ownership role with the stable.

“Mick had a share in Keep The Peace and I’ve always wanted to give Luke a ride,” said Ritchie. “He knows the Gold Coast very well so the local knowledge will help.”

Meanwhile, Ritchie’s first-up specialist Let Her Rip has returned home after a disappointing Australian campaign.

The filly was luckless when out of the money when resuming in the Gr. 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield before she was also unplaced in the Listed Bendigo Guineas and at Sandown.

“She went well fresh, like she always does, but her form tapered off,” said Ritchie. “We’ve brought her back and she’s still very immature.”

– NZ Racing Desk.