Ladies Man At It Again

I sometimes wonder if Shaune Ritchie considers himself a “ladies man”.
Now let me explain what I mean, before you go jumping to conclusions!
The “ladies” in this case are of the four legged variety. 
The popular Cambridge trainer has had a tremendous strike rate with fillies from his stable over recent seasons.
Heading the charge was Ritchie’s multiple Group One winner Keep The Peace.
Last Saturday at Awapuni, Ritchie unveiled another potential top liner in Zurella.
The Zabeel filly announced herself as one of the leading fillies in the country with a barnstorming win in the Eulogy Stakes over 1600m.
Sent out favourite in the Group Three event, Zurella came with an irresistable finish to score her third win from just four race day appearances.
Ridden by Lisa Allpress, Zurella took a while to wind up, before dashing past her rivals over the concluding stages.
“I was always confident of grabbing the leaders, but she really hit her straps the last little bit” said Allpress later.
It was the final stages that really pleased Ritchie too.
“She is crying out for more ground now, and obviously races like the Oaks and, possibly, the Derby look long term targets” said Ritchie.
Raced by the Oaks Stud, Zurella has always impressed Ritchie.
“We’ve rated her for a long time, and being by Zabeel, you expect her to keep improving” said Ritchie.
Ritchie has got an embarrassment of riches when it comes to fillies in his stable.
Apart from Zurella, Ritchie also has Artistic, already  a stakes winner this season, and another promising one in Forgive No Forget.
“It’s nice to be in this situation and it does give us options” said Ritchie.
Congratulations to local jockey Jason Waddell, who capped off his comeback to race riding when winning the Waikato Times Cup last Saturday.
The vastly talented Waddell, produced a pearl of a ride on Dawn Ghost to win the Group Two staying event.
Waddell recently returned to race riding after serving an 18 month suspension and was quick to praise his support team after the win.
“Bruce and Maureen Harvey have been fantastic, and my manager Darryl Anderson has done a great job too” said Waddell.
These days you see a more determined and mature Waddell plying his trade.
“I was a typical young fella, ten foot tall and bullet proof, and I let people down” said Waddell.
One of those people was Matamata trainer John Sargent, who trains Dawn Ghost.
“Sarge has always supported me and I’m really pleased I was able to win this race for him” said Waddell.
Waddell was in rare form at the meeting, riding a hat trick of winners.
One of his other wins came aboard Savour The Moment.
Trained by Stephen Marsh, Savour The Moment has struck a purple patch of form.
Saturday’s win was his 4th from just ten starts and he looks a likely candidate for some of the feature mile races over the Xmas carnivals.
Also successful at Te Rapa were Two Up and Lady Kipling.
Two Up made amends for an unlucky effort last start, winning over 1400m for trainer Shelley Hale.
Hale also produced Sum Up for a brave second place in the Waikato Cup.
Lady Kipling capped off some sparkling form when winning the Cal Isuzu Stakes for Murray Baker.
The Savabeel mare continues to progress through the grades, her latest victory coming at Group Two level.
She has been one of the most improved mares in the country this season.
I’ll catch you next week!