Stakes test for Let Her Rip

Let Her Rip (Sam Weatherley) showing her class at Te Rapa last Saturday,

Let Her Rip (Sam Weatherley) showing her class at Te Rapa last Saturday,

A dominant win by Let Her Rip at Te Rapa last Saturday has trainer Shaune Ritchie keen to give his promising mare her chance at a higher level in the near future.

The four-year-old Rip Van Winkle mare once again showed her liking for the Te Rapa track when she registered her second win from just three starts on the course with a blistering finish to claim the Distinction Hamilton 1200.

Settled at the rear of the field as Rich Billie Marsh set a hot speed out in front, Let Her Rip was still spotting the leaders around eight lengths as the field straightened for the run home.

Angled into the clear by apprentice Sam Weatherley at the 300 the mare quickly put the issue beyond doubt as she burst to the front before easing to the line for a comfortable length and a half victory.

Ritchie was expecting a good performance from his charge and got what he wanted as he sets about plotting a course to higher honours in this campaign.

“She has always showed us she has plenty of talent and that’s why we’ve taken her to Australia a couple of times as we believe she can measure up over there,” he said.

“Her only real issue is that she is a mare who goes best when on the fresh side which doesn’t help much across the ditch as you don’t really want to be sitting around too much as it gets pretty expensive in a hurry.

“She went a top race first up at Hastings last month and I thought she was ready to go a bold race, particularly as she loves the Te Rapa surface.”

Ritchie will now sit down and look at the mare’s programme for the summer with a start in stakes company high on his priority list.

“She deserves her chance at black-type so I’ve got my eye on a race back at Te Rapa next month,” he said.

“There’s a nice Listed 1400-metre race on Waikato Cup Day in December that could suit her. Although she has fashioned such a great record over 1200 I still believe she is just as good over a touch further.

“That will be five weeks between runs which will be perfect for her and if she can strike a similar track to Saturday then she could be very competitive.”

Ritchie is also delighted with how classy three-year-old filly Bella Gioia has settled into her temporary southern base ahead of this coming weekend’s Gr. 1 gavelhouse.com 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.

“She flew down on Saturday night and went straight out to Woodend beach where she will stay for the week,” he said.

“She bounced through the travel well and having had her at the beach before we know she will thrive there.

“We’ve put the blinkers on this Saturday as you need all the advantage you can get at the elite level.

“If we can snag a good barrier draw then hopefully she can perform to her best which will make it a very interesting race indeed.”

– NZ Racing Desk