Derby aspirations with Swords Drawn

Shaune Ritchie believes Swords Drawn may have what it takes to contest the Gr.1 Vodafone NZ Derby.

Promising Cambridge three-year-old Swords Drawn added a second stakes placing to his record when running third to Cutadeel in the Listed Three-Year-Old Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie last Sunday. 

He has impressed his trainer Shaune Ritchie in his six starts and the Cambridge trainer believes Swords Drawn has the potential to contest the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie in March.

“I was impressed (with his run on Sunday),” Ritchie said. “I love the way this horse attacks the line. Jason Waddell (jockey) came off him and said it took him until the 1200 to pull him up.

“It will be nice to give him a maiden mile, and you would think hopefully a win, in preparation before the Avondale Guineas (Gr.2, 2100m) and his main target is naturally the Derby.”

  • NZ Racing Desk