Aussie rider for Artistic

Top Queensland jockey Chris Munce has picked up the ride on NZ Oaks winner Artistic in her three-race Brisbane campaign, which begins next weekend.

Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie confirmed Munce for the ride after watching the filly do an exhibition gallop between races at Matamata yesterday. Ridden by Jason Jago, Artistic hit out pleasingly and went to the line well with her jockey claiming she felt “really good.”

Ritchie was on hand to watch the gallop and he was pleased with what he saw. “She never does much in her work on the track so it was good to bring her over to do this work,” Ritchie said after the hitout. “She’s done
very well since the Oaks. She put on 28 kilos during her break and she’s down to 18 kilos over her peak weight today. She’s be on the pretty side for her first one in Brisbane, but she should be spot on for the main two.”

Artistic will be flown to Queensland tonight and she will make her Australian debut in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet over 1800 metres next Saturday. She will then contest the Group III $A175,000 Doomben Roses
(2020m) at Doomben on May 19 and the Group I $A400,000 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.

Success in Queensland would be a true highlight for Artistic’s owner-breeder, Dick Karreman, who is based in the Queensland and owns the Oaks Stud in Cambridge.

Artistic has won four of her 11 starts and will begin her Australian campaign in search of a hat trick of wins, having preceded her Group I Wellfield NZ Oaks win (over stablemate Zurella) with victory in the Listed
Nissan Sunline Vase at Ellerslie.

Joining Artistic on the Queensland flight will be stablemate Saturn Rock, who won on debut at Trentham before being relegated from first to second at Te Aroha. In her other start she was runner-up to Touch Of Ruby in the Avondale Classic last week.

“Her form is good here and she’s a strongly built filly,” said Ritchie. “We’ll just see how she measures up over there. She’ll start off at a Saturday meeting somewhere and we’ll assess it from there.”