Ritchie Star Returns

My Scotsgrey is back!
The former NZ Cup winner made a triumphant return to the Winner’s Circle at Te Rapa last Saturday.
Trained by Shaune Ritchie, My Scotsgrey was having just his second start in eighteen months.
“He injured a tendon which necessitated a long recovery period” explained Ritchie.
The strapping six year old was last seen on race day back in June when he finished down the track over 1400m.
“It was frustrating trying to get him fit and ready particularly with the wet weather over the past few months” said Ritchie.
Ritchie decided to take a team of his horses to Ruakaka, including My Scotsgrey and Keep The Peace,  to get them ready for important Spring assignments.
“It was a calculated decision to take them north and after today’s result, it looks it was the right decision too” said Ritchie.
An exhibition gallop between My Scotsgrey and Showcause at Ruakaka ten days ago, boosted Ritchie’s confidence heading into Saturday’s race.
“He had Showcause off the bit and Leith Innes who rode him was quite excited by his work” he said.
Innes was aboard the Golan gelding on Saturday.
“He was a bit slow to get going but once I set him alight I knew he’d pick them up” said Innes.
Innes let his mount charge forward with 600m to run and My Scotsgrey looped the field.
As the field swung for home, the pacemaker Cent Per Cent had established what looked like a winning break.
However My Scotsgrey quickly pounced on the leader and drew clear for a comprehensive two and three quarter length win.
It was the fifth win of his 17 start career, and took his stake earnings to $258,000.
Ritchie outlined the immediate plans for My Scotsgrey.
“He is raced by a big group of owners and most of them are keen to race him in Australia this Spring, so he really had to step up today” explained Ritchie.
“The dream is to get to the Melbourne Cup, but there are plenty of other races which will suit him over there too” he said.
Good luck to them too.!
 
The other local winner at Te Rapa on Saturday was Phar Cry.
The lightly tried 5yr old Street Cry mare took her record to three wins, a second and two thirds from just six starts.
Phar Cry is trained by Lorraine Sullivan who bred and races the mare with her husband Bill.
Sullivan has forged a wonderful strike rate with her runners over a number of years.
“We seem to have our fair share of success with our horses” Sullivan modestly claimed after the win.
Sent out the race favourite, Phar Cry was ridden by Maija Vance in the 1200m event.
“We settled well back in the field but she just cruised around them coming to the home turn” said Vance.
Phar Cry quickly bounded past the pacemaker Danrose, and went on to score by nearly two lengths.
Phar Cry should be followed with confidence in upcoming races.
 
Although soundly beaten into second place, local mare Fleur De Lune impressed at Te Rapa too.
The Lee Somervell trained mare had no answer to Fritzy Boy, who powered to a comfortable win in the Foxbridge Plate.
Fleur De Lune soon found herself in front in the 1200m event, with Fritzy Boy outside her.
As the field straightened for home, Fleur De Lune’s rider Mark Sweeney momentarily felt confident of success.
“I thought we were going to win, but then Fritzy Boy cruised up alongside of us” said Sweeney.
It was a brave effort from the Stravinsky mare though and showed she is right up to the best class.
She could be in for a profitable Spring.
 
I’ll catch you next week.
 
Cheers
 
George.