New Zealand-based trainer Shaune Ritchie is expecting a strong 2014 winter preparation for talented three-year-old Glorious Lad as he builds in form ahead of an appearance in the major Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) on June 7th.
While yet to contest an event on Australian shores in his short racing career so far, Ritchie revealed the general path set for Glorious Lad this time in, which is also set to include a stop off at Doomben for the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2020m) next weekend (May 10th).
“I’m also bringing a maiden galloper and Glorious Lad, who will run on Saturday week in the Rough Habit on the way to the Queensland Derby” Ritchie told AAP.
“He ran third in the New Zealand Derby behind Puccini and Rising Romance.”
New Zealand raiders have experienced resounding success in major Australian races over the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival, particularly through Roger James-trained Silent Achiever who claimed both the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m), and Rising Romance who strolled home to win the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 19th.
Having kept a close eye on the results on Australian throughout the season, Ritchie said the lure of perfect weather and far-greater prize pools made the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and Queensland Oaks hard to miss.
“The Kiwis are keen to get some more of the money. Besides, it’s a lot warmer in Queensland than the Waikato” Ritchie added.
Securing three wins and five places from only nine competitive race starts to date, Glorious Lad has been unlucky not to claim a victory at Group level so far; finishing fourth in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) and third in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) prior to the New Zealand Derby.
Sprinting well to overcome poor running position and finish second in the Governor General’s Cup (1600m) in his final appearance before crossing the ditch, the Falkirk gelding poses a serious chance of success for Ritchie and New Zealand in the 2014 Queensland Derby.
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