Tough Kiwi galloper Roi D’Jeu is earmarked to make their sunshine state debut in the 2012 Caloundra Cup Saturday week after their gallant run at Rosehill last Saturday.
Formerly prepared in New Zealand by Shaune Ritchie, Montjeu six-year-old Roi D’Jeu is currently enjoying a winter preparation under the Warwick Farm-based Craig Ritchie in Sydney.
The 32-start veteran ran the best race of their current campaign over the weekend when Brenton Avdulla rode them to a close second to Peter Snowden’s up-and-comer Adroitly in the $100,000 Listed Stayers Cup over the two miles on a Heavy Rosehill track.
Adding merit to the finish was that the third placed Reigning was 15 lengths further away.
“I never gave us any sort of hope to beat the winner,” Ritchie admitted.
“I thought we would or should run second but I thought Adroitly over that distance on that sort of track was going to be clearly a better horse than us.
“It was a super ride. We had a really good chat beforehand and I said I was real confident he could handle the ground no problem but the two miles concerned me.
“Brenton said that, other than Adroitly, he thought we would beat the others no problem so if they’re floundering, given the spread in the weights, he’d just him slide a little bit and then make the other horse carry his weight.
“He did that perfectly I thought.”
Ritchie is now eyeing off one of the final Queensland Winter Racing Carnival features for Roi D’Jeu, the gelding heading towards the $200,000 Listed Caloundra City Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday June 30.
Following the Caloundra Cup 2012 Roi D’Jeu could stay on in Queensland for the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm seven days later on July 7 which would be the horse’s fourth look at the distance.
“There’s probably not much left for him now in Sydney it’s pretty hard to bring a horse back to say 2200 or 2000 metres especially if the track gets a bit better, they lose their zip once they race the way he’s raced the other day,” Ritchie explained.
“Two miles at Eagle Farm is probably his go I think.”
With Roi D’Jeu racing so well on the sodden Rosehill track for the Stayer’s Cup, Ritchie said they were hoping for a bit of rain ahead of the Caloundra Cup but that firmer ground for the Queensland Cup would be okay.
“I don’t think Eagle Farm would have to be wet for him to be competitive there but Caloundra probably would, I wouldn’t want a good track at Caloundra,” he said.
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