He’s An Ace for Ritchie

He's An Ace kicking on strongly for Matt Cameron at Ellerslie today.

He’s An Ace kicking on strongly for Matt Cameron at Ellerslie today.

Shaune Ritchie knew he was taking a gamble with He’s An Ace on debut at Ellerslie today, but it paid off nicely.

The Cambridge trainer had given He’s An Ace a couple of trials for education and the three-year-old son of Swiss Ace won the most recent of them, at Te Teko on October 5.

The winning margin that day was a mere nose but the runner-up was Muriwai, who went on to win her raceday debut at Te Aroha 16 days later then finish third to the highly promising Rangipo at Tauranga before taking on the smart Sofia Rosa at Ellerslie.

Though the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Muriwai failed in the latter engagement, her previous form was the encouragement Ritchie needed to head to Ellerslie today with He’s An Ace for the Kylin Horse Group 1200.

“I would normally never run a horse first start at Ellerslie with a big, open track like this, but I like the horse and he’s pretty promising,” said Ritchie, whose wife, Alison, is a part-owner.

“He’s shown us some good sectionals at home and his trials was good. He’s had a few niggly prblems which is why he hasn’t raced ‘til now as a three-year-old.”

Matt Cameron picked up the mount on He’s An Ace and put him right into the race from the outset, having him tracking the leader until inside the final 300 metres.

After taking over He’s An Ace then had to withstand a late charge from the Chris McNab-trained His Majesty and did so to score by a head.

He’s An Ace holds a nomination for the Gr. 1 BMW New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 5.