Ritchie considering Queensland Derby

Street Smart has improved a lot since clearing maiden ranks at Ruakaka.

Street Smart has improved a lot since clearing maiden ranks at Ruakaka.

Shaune Ritchie believes everything about Street Smart suggests he can develop into a Group One contender this winter.

“I really like him and he gets his head down like a genuine stayer,” said the Cambridge trainer. “I’m sure he’s going to keep progressing and he’ll be nominated for the Queensland Derby.

“He’s a beautiful type with plenty of muscle, strength and scope about him – perfect for a Derby horse.”

Street Smart recently returned from a break to finish runner-up over 1400 metres on a Dead 5 track at Avondale in a performance that delighted Ritchie.

“He’d had a trial that cleaned him up quite nicely and he’ll keep improving,” he said. “He got to the line very well and he’s a much better horse on top of the ground.

“He’ll probably have his next run in a Rating 65 mile at Te Aroha and then we’ll sort out the best plan of attack by working backwards from the Queensland Derby.”

Street Smart was given three outings in the spring and won his maiden at Ruakaka, then ran fourth at New Plymouth and he was spelled after an unplaced effort in the Listed BMW Salver.

“He went shin sore so we turned him out,” said Ritchie.

Meanwhile, stablemate Megawatt is an outside chance to join Street Smart in Queensland.

“She’s done a good job and has gone for a spell, said Ritchie. “If she doesn’t come back up quickly enough for Brisbane she will probably go over to my brother Craig in Sydney.”

A winner last December, Megawatt failed in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks but she gained black type earlier in her last campaign when third in the Gr. 3 Royal Stakes.

– NZ Racing Desk.