Queensland Oaks favourite Miss Artistic will jump favourite in the 2012 The Roses at Doomben on Saturday, the filly’s Cambridge-based trainer Shaune Ritchie happy with the way she is progressing ahead of the showdown.
The Darci Brahma three-year-old hit the big time winning the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) back home in March before travelling across the Tasman for the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival riches.
She debuted down under three weeks ago in the mud at the Gold Coast when running a credible fourth to Scorpio Queen in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m).
Ritchie always said that going from 2400m to 1800m wasn’t going to suit and that once she got back up in distance on top of the ground Miss Artistic would improve.
“I’m confident there’s at least one length improvement in her from the Gold Coast run,” he said.
“She hadn’t run for a while before the Bracelet and I was a little concerned I had been too soft on her before the Bracelet.”
She gets the chance to prove that this weekend in the $175,000 Group 3 The Roses (2000m) on Doomben Cup Day.
Miss Artistic already leads futures betting for the upcoming $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm next month, and she has also opened at the top of The Roses odds at bookmaker.com.au paying $4.80.
She isn’t an overwhelming favourite however as the 2000m is still likely a little short of her best and Ritchie will be wanting to keep something in her legs for the big Oaks clash.
“The Queensland Oaks is her main goal and she’s come through the Gold Coast Bracelet well,” Ritchie said.
“If she doesn’t finish in the first three tomorrow I’ll be very disappointed with her grand final so close.”
It is a big ask of the youngster to win two Oaks in a single season and Ritchie hopes Miss Artistic has the class to do just that.
“I’m sure Miss Artistic will run a good race tomorrow but it’s hard to peak any three-year-old twice in a season,” he admitted.
“There’s been some champion three-year-olds in the past that couldn’t do it.”
He has an outstanding record in New Zealand having won the NZ Oaks twice in the past three years, but he is yet to break through at elite level in Australia.
“I’ve won two of the last three Oaks in New Zealand with (Miss) Artistic and Keep The Peace and I won a New Zealand Derby with Military Move,” he said.
“I’ve had a great run in Group One races at home but I’m yet to do it over the ditch.”
The Roses 2012 features a number of other top Queensland Oaks fancies including Gold Coast Bracelet winner Scorpio Queen ($6) and Angel Of Mercy ($7) coming off a BTC Cup Day victory at the track.
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