Derby start on line for Street Smart

Street Smart unleashing his winning run at Pukekohe to earn his Australian trip.

Street Smart unleashing his winning run at Pukekohe to earn his Australian trip.

A start in the Gr. 1 Queensland Derby is the reward for Cambridge three-year-old Street Smart should he win in Sydney on Saturday.

The Shaune Ritchie-trained gelding tackles the Evans & Partners Handicap (2000m) at Randwick with Tye Angland booked to ride the last-start Pukekohe winner from the outside barrier.

“We think he’s a good horse, but whether the penny has dropped enough yet we don’t know,” said Ritchie from his Sydney base. “We’re relying on the very good record New Zealand staying three-year-olds have over here.

“He’s on trial for the Queensland Derby but he’d probably need to win on Saturday to get there or else run a really unlucky second and hope that he’s earned enough prizemoney to get in.”

Ritchie has seen enough in Street Smart to think that he can achieve that goal.

Street Smart was a debut winner at Ruakaka last year and sixth in the Gr. 2 Championship Stakes when chasing home third-placed Sonorous, who is a race rival on Saturday for Byerley Park trainers Scott Lucock and Sally Gillespie.

He earned his trans-Tasman flight through a smart but wayward Rating 65 win at Pukekohe earlier this month.

“I watched him gallop at Randwick today and he worked well,” said Ritchie. “He’s eating up well so he’s settled in how we’d have liked. He’s such a hard horse to get a line on because he only does what he has to.

“We wanted to get him over here early so he could come and have a look at the track because he’s a horse that can do plenty wrong as we saw at Pukekohe.

“He carried 59 and a half kilos and, while he didn’t beat a stellar field, he did it carrying a fair bit of weight on a slow track so we know he will stay.”

– NZ Racing Desk