“Please not another Katie Lee result”

Shaune Ritchie (pictured) has been there before and he hopes it doesn’t happen again.

The “there” is having a good opportunity of winning the Group I NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton only to be bowled over by a top
filly backing up from a feature mission a week earlier.

That happened two years ago when he was quietly confident of winning the fillies classic with Keep The Peace only to have the subsequent multiple Group One winner rolled by Katie Lee. Ironically it was also Katie Lee who had prevented the Cambridge trainer from landing the first leg of the Riccarton classics, the Group I NZ 2000 Guineas with Military Move.

This year Ritchie had been back in Cambridge while the 2000 Guineas was run and won by Rock ‘n’ Pop, who defeated the top filly Anabandana last Saturday. He headed to Riccarton yesterday feeling optimistic about his chances of winning the 1000 Guineas with Artistic even though the Don Sellwood-trained Anabandana is in the field.

“Like other trainers I was hoping the 2000 Guineas may have taken the edge off Anabandana, but I should know better,” said Ritchie. “I saw her when I dropped Don off at the stables and she looks fantastic. She’s bright in the eye and has come through the first day really well. I just hope she’s
not going to do another Katie Lee to me.”

Artistic has shown much promise this season, winning a double including the Listed Bonecrusher Stakes and finishing fourth to Antonio Lombardo and Anabandana in the Group III James and Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa.

She may not have the Group One form of Anabandana, but she  isn’t lacking in experience at Riccarton. She was taken south for the Listed Welcome Stakes as a two-year-old last season, but didn’t threaten and was shinsore afterwards.