Devise on Zurella’s path

Devise (Brendan Hutton) winning with authority at Trentham last Saturday.

Devise (Brendan Hutton) winning with authority at Trentham last Saturday.

Cambridge filly Devise has made an encouraging start to her career, but there is still a long way to go to live up to her half-sister.

Devise, owned and bred by The Oaks Stud and trained by Shaune Ritchie, completed a double and took her record to two wins from just three starts when beating Seraphim in the Hiremaster Premier (1600m) at Trentham last Saturday.

She had cleared maiden ranks when scoring by a neck over 1400 metres at Hastings early last month and won even more authority in the special conditions maiden with Brendan Hutton aboard on both occasions.

The daughter of Darci Brahma is a half-sister to Zurella, who was a Group Two winner and Group One placegetter from the stable of Shaun Ritchie,

Zurella’s five wins included the Gr.2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington and the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa. Between both significant wins she finished fifth to Silent Achiever in the Gr.1 NZ Derby and a nose second to her stablemate Artistic in the Gr.1 Wellfield NZ Oaks.

She also won the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes and was second in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes and Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes, third in the Gr.1 Waikato Draught Sprint behind Final Touch and Xanadu, fourth in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile, the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and Gr.2 Awapuni Gold Cup.

A daughter of Zabeel, Zurella earned almost $500,000 from her 28 starts and, though Devise is well astern of that prizemoney, Ritchie believes the younger half-sister has the makings of a potential star.

“I really love this filly,” he said. “I don’t know if she’s as good as Zurella, but she has got a better attitude.

“We were keen to take her to Trentham as we think she’s an Oaks filly so we’ll make a plan of attack for that.”

Devise also holds nominations for the Levin Classic at Trentham next month and the Gr.1 Vodafone NZ Derby in March.