New Zealand Oaks winning filly Miss Artistic, raced in her native New Zealand as simply Artistic, may be a Group 1 winner and early favourite for the upcoming Queensland Derby but her trainer Shaune Ritchie has warned that she may not be ready to fire when she debuts down under in the Gold Coast Bracelet 2012 this Saturday.
The Cambridge-based daughter of Darci Brahma is one of 19 three-year-old fillies accepted for this year’s edition of the $125,000 Listed Gold Coat Bracelet (1800m), 14 confirmed of a start and five waiting for a scratching to gain a run.
Drawn in 11 with ace jockey Chris Munce engaged the Bracelet will be her first run in Australia following back-to-back black type wins back home firstly in the Listed Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie and then in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17.
While her form in NZ is outstanding and she has run and won over a similar distance to Saturday’s 1800-metres on the Gold Coast, Ritchie isn’t convinced that the GC Bracelet is Miss Artistic’s for the taking.
She is being aimed at bigger things this season including the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 and the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) back at the track seven days later.
“She is well in herself but she won’t be screwed down for Saturday,” Ritchie explained.
“She hasn’t raced since the (NZ) Oaks and she is going to take a lot of improvement from this.
“But it is hard to peak them twice for races as hard as an Oaks so I have been deliberately easy on her since her Oaks win.
“She has had two clean weeks off and while she galloped between races at Matamata last Friday she hasn’t been to the trials.”
Ritchie also harbours some doubts over the filly’s ability to handle a possible muddy edition of the race, the Gold Coast track currently rated a Slow (7).
Miss Artistic has seen two wet track and handle both winning a Listed, 1400m feature at Ellerslie on a Slow (9) last September, and then finishing a brave fourth Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m) on a Heavy (10) at Riccarton Park in November.
“Slow will be all right for her but if it gets heavy I’d start to worry,” he said.
“She doesn’t really handle heavy even though she ran fourth in the (NZ 1000) Guineas on it, whereas she won the Bonecrusher at Ellerslie on a slow track.”
The bookies are already taking zero chances with the boom Kiwi with Miss Artistic sitting as the $5.50 second favourite behind Fat Al ($4) in the futures Queensland Derby odds.
She certainly hails from the right place heading in the Queensland Oaks also with last year’s Oaks won by fellow New Zealander Scarlett Lady.
Scarlett Lady also won The Doomben Roses in the lead-up to her Oaks success and $175,000, 2020m event on May 19 is sure to be on the agenda for Miss Artistic this year too.
Racing Queensland contributed a generous $20,000 to help get Miss Artistic to Queensland for the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival this year in an attempt to make the Queensland Oaks the Australasian championship for Oaks winning fillies.
Ritchie said however that the money wasn’t why they were in the sunshine state but that they considered her a genuine chance of scoring the NZ – Queensland Oaks double.
“That is not why we are here, after all, her owner (Dick Karreman) isn’t exactly short of a quid,” he said.
“We are here because we think she can win the Oaks.”
It is shaping up as an intriguing edition of the Gold Coast Bracelet this year with talented fillies coming from both local and interstate stables including Matthew Dunn’s Princess Stakes winner Hidden Jewel, the Gerald Ryan-trained stakes winning Sydneysider Angel Of Mercy, Tracey Bartley’s Wyong visitor Meghalaya and the Peter Snowden-trained Lonhro filly Angelus.
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