Ritchie Wins Bonecrusher

Cambridge fillies took out the two feature races at Ellerslie last Saturday.
Artistic and Holy Moly produced contrasting performances to win their respective 3yr Old Listed races.
Artistic got the ball rolling when successful in the Just Juice Bonecrusher Stakes.
The Shaune Ritchie trained Darci Brahma filly produced an outstanding performance to secure her first black type success.
On a track which favoured those horses who were able to lead or trail, Artistic came from last with 600m to go.
Once balanced up by rider Michael Coleman, Artistic unleashed a devastating finishing burst to claim victory over pacemaker Vincent Street.
“I was worried beforehand because I knew she’d get back, but it didn’t matter in the end” said Coleman upon dismounting.
“She’s got an electric sprint and she picked them up pretty easily” Coleman added.
It was Artistic’s second win from just four starts and stamped her as a real up and comer.
“We’ve always rated her and she looked impressive doing the business today” said Shaune Ritchie.
Artistic is raced by The Oaks Stud, who stand in form sire, Darci Brahma.
The progeny of Darci Brahma have really hit their straps recently, on both sides of the Tasman. 
“The Darci Brahma’s are flying, which is obviously very pleasing for the stud, and I think this filly has got a bright future” said  stud manager Rick Williams.             
For trainer Shaune Ritchie, the victory realised a long held ambition.
“This is one race my family have tried to win for a while now due to our association with Red” said Ritchie.
“Red” of course was the champion galloper Bonecrusher,  in  whose honour the race is named after.
Ritchie was the constant companion of Bonecrusher during a wonderful career.
“It’s 25 years since that memorable Cox Plate race between Bonecrusher and Waverley Star and the old boy is still alive and well, so this win today is a great thrill” said Ritchie.
Judging by Artistic’s success, there may well be a few more thrills along the way.
 
 
Holy Moly also created a favourable impression when winning the other 3yr old feature, the Soliloquy Stakes, also over 1400m.
At just her fifth race day appearance, Holy Moly showed early speed before settling in the trail.
As the field turned for home Holy Moly pounced on the leaders, eventually drawing clear to won by three quarters of a length from ultra consistent filly Perfect Katch.
Race favourite Whoshe was a close up third.
Trained by Roger James, Holy Moly is owned by Waimarie  Partnership.
“I have her nominated for the Guineas races at Christchurch so that was pleasing to see her do what she has done today” said James.
Holy Moly was purchased by local bloodstock agent Barry Lee on behalf of her owners at the National Yearling Sales at Karaka.
The athletic looking filly has already justified her $200,000 price tag with her Listed stakes win.
 
Artistic and Holy Moly give Cambridge a strong hand in the 3yr old fillies ranks this season.
Especially when you throw last season’s champion 2 yr old  Anabandana, trained by Don Sellwood, into the mix.
 
A few weeks ago in this column, I mentioned Alex Forbes as a young rider of the future.
The Cambridge apprentice has continued to impress many judges in his fledgling career.
Last Saturday Forbes kicked home a double at New Plymouth, winning aboard Swazi, for John Wheeler and Thee Old Shelia for Stephen Marsh.
I’m always wary of giving too big a rap, too soon, but you can’t help be impressed by the 15 yr old.
If you ever get a chance to watch a replay of those wins, you’ll see what I mean.
For a rider who only started race riding in August, Forbes is extremely polished in his style.
He looks like he’s been riding for a lot longer.
Sure, he’s got much more to learn, but he’s getting there …….fast!
 
Catch you next week.
 
Cheers
 
George.