One of a host of Kiwi gallopers coming over from Auckland to Brisbane this week, Shaun Ritchie’s smart three-year-old Glorious Lad is set to target the Queensland Oaks 2014 this winter.
The Falkirk gelding has had nine starts to date for a trio of wins and is one of 28 New Zealand-trained horses booked to fly into Queensland this Thursday night ahead of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Ritchie’s contingent this winter is a strong one, including Glorious Lad who he has targeting the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 7.
They will debut down under ahead of the Derby Saturday week on BTC Cup Day at Doomben in the $125,000 Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2020m).
“Glorious Lad…will run on Saturday week in the Rough Habit on the way to the Queensland Derby,” Ritchie confirmed to AAP.
The Rough Habit produced last year’s Queensland Derby champ Hawkspur, the Sydney-trained galloper completing the double for trainer Chris Waller.
Glorious Lad was last seen running a close second behind Telepathic, who is set to target the $400,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31, in a Benchmark 85 over the mile at Avondale on ANZAC Day last Friday.
It was a good run, their first in 55 days and their first since finishing third in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) behind Puccini.
While the Peter Mckay-trained New Zealand Derby winner Puccini failed to make an impact down under running 12th in the Rosehill Guineas and then fifth in the Australian Derby behind Criterion both times, the form of the Kiwi feature has held up through the runner-up Rising Romance.
Donna & Dean Logan’s Ekraar filly, a stable mate to Telepathic, came off the NZ Derby into the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Slipper Day running fourth.
She then improved on April 19 to score an upset win in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).
While Glorious Lad will have just over a week to acclimatise, two of Ritchie’s other major carnival hopes will race at the Gold Coast this Saturday.
In the day’s feature he’ll start Military Move in the $358,000 Group 2 Wimmers Soft Drinks A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m).
His promising 2014 Queensland Oaks hope Chop Chop will then run in the $15,000 Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m), the three-year-old filly coming off a fourth in the New Zealand Oaks.
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