Ritchie chasing more gold

Shaune Ritchie was celebrating one win at Te Rapa today and looking forward to returning to the track next weekend for Group One missions.

While the Cambridge trainer was successful with Goldminer in the Sails Motor Inn 1400, he was also pleased with the exhibition gallop between his top mares Zurella and Artistic between races.

Zurella is set to contest the Group I Waikato Draught Sprint next Saturday and Artistic is being aimed at the Group I Darci Brahma International Stakes.

The two smart gallopers provided Ritchie with a Group One quinella in the Wellfield NZ Oaks last season, with Artistic just beating her more favoured stablemate.

Now Ritchie is keen to put Zurella on the Group One list and thought he knows it won’t be easy against the likes of Mufhasa and Xanadu in the weight-for-age 1400 metres, he is happy with her condition going into the race.

Ritchie is also keen to see Artistic take on the weight-for-age 2000 metres event and believes she has a strong chance.
“She’s got to step up to 2000 metres second-up, but it’s a winnable race for her,” he said.

Goldminer notched her sixth win from 27 starts when leading throughout at Te Rapa today. The successful rider was Jason Jago, who has been aboard in her last three victories.

“Jason is a great worker and a terrific judge of pace and he rode her beautifully,” said Ritchie. “She hits flat spots and is just outside top-class, but this type of race suits her. It’s good to see her running 1400 metres out strongly like that.”

Jago was a late replacement for Jason Waddell, who reported he was unwell and unable to take his confirmed mounts.