Ritchie hoping for carnival boost at Eagle Farm

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  • May 03, 2023
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Shaune Ritchie will look to three-year-old filly Maurizma to successfully open the stable’s latest overseas venture.

The Cambridge horseman, who trains in partnership with Colm Murray, has the daughter of Maurice in an 1800m maiden event at Eagle Farm on Wednesday with stablemate The Racketeer also in Australia for the winter carnival.

“Maurizma is owned over here and they were keen to take a bit of a punt on her and get her over and see what’s under the bonnet,” Ritchie said.

“She was a bit unlucky not to have won at Whangarei in her first start and her trial before that was excellent.

“We’ve got the visitor’s draw (14), but she will go back anyway. She is obviously looking for more ground and gets that and I think Eagle Farm will suit her and we’ll see how good she is.”

Maurizma is raced by Gold Coast couple Steve and Maree Anderson with Ritchie also holding an ownership interest and the daughter of Maurice ran fourth on debut over 1600m at Ruakaka earlier this month.

The Racketeer is on his way north to Brisbane, having booked his passage across the Tasman with a game last-start victory.

“There’s no direct flights this year so the horses have had to come via Sydney,” Ritchie said.

“The Racketeer is heading up to Queensland tonight (Tuesday) after arriving on the plane from Sydney on Monday.

“He will take his chance at Eagle Farm on Saturday week in an open three-year-old 1350m race.

“He will be an interesting one, he’s obviously got a fair bit of ability and his win last time appeared quite soft when it looked he was going to get beaten.”

A son of Proisir, The Racketeer has won three of his 10 starts and most recently at Avondale he made the running and rallied strongly after being headed in the straight to score over 1400m.

“He’s got the talent and is right up to them and fortunately he’s in that three-year-old 1400m to a mile bracket and there’s pretty much a race every week for him worth A$200,000,” Ritchie said.

“We’ll start off in a A$125,000 race and if he can measure up there then there’s a stack of races leading right through to the Winx Guineas (Gr.3, 1600m).”

Import Mahrajaan could also be on a plane to Brisbane if he produces an improved second-up performance at home.

“He got outpaced completely in his first race at Te Rapa and he’s going to have one more in New Zealand and if goes well in that then we’ll bring him over for the Premier’s Cup (Gr.3, 2000m) and the Brisbane Cup (Gr.2, 3200m),” Ritchie said.

“Obviously, he wants a lot more ground and Chris Waller has often said to me that these English stayers can take a little while to settle in.

“Taking that under advisement, we’re going to give him a second run in either the Rotorua Cup (Listed, 2200m) if it’s not too heavy or in an open 1800m race at Taranaki and see how he goes.

“So far, he has come through that last run terrifically well and it would be lovely to have him here, but only if he is at his best.”

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