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Munce shows faith in Miss Artistic

 Jun 1 2012

In recent years, the number of New Zealand trainers coming to the Brisbane Winter Carnival has increased and on Saturday they'll be attempting to win the Queensland Oaks.

Race favourite, Miss Artistic, has led the assault on the Oaks and trainer Shaune Ritchie couldn't be happier.

After winning the NZ Oaks, Miss Artistic was freshened up for another tilt at a Group One 2400 metre race and Ritchie feels she's right back at her top for Saturday.

Ritchie told me Miss Artistic did race a fraction keenly in the Doomben Roses but that run has brought the filly to her best.

Another Kiwi filly, Poste Restante, is another peaking at the right time.

Trainer Howard Mathews says the form around his filly is outstanding having finished a gutsy third to Brambles in the Rough Habit Plate.

Brambles since has come out and blown his rivals away in the Grand Prix.

For a big striding filly, the barrier draw is perfect for Poste Restante who does appreciate galloping room.

While disappointed, Chris Munce has stuck with Miss Artistic. Mathews is rapt to get the quality of James McDonald aboard on a horse he knows from back home.

Another key chance for the New Zealanders in the Queensland Oaks is Quintessential.

Trainer John Sargent, who is very keen to open up a stable in New South Wales, says his filly might only be a light framed three year  old but she has a big heart.

Quintessential galloped only once in the past week with Sargent saying she doesn't require a lot of work between races. From barrier one, jockey Damian Browne should be able to ride Quintessential a bit closer than what we've seen in recent runs.

There are a stack of other great races at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Wealth Princess will start a solid favourite in the Dane Ripper Stakes, however, there are a number of other chances.

I can't wait to see Bonnie Mac take up the challenge of a stronger race but following her last three wins, she's certainly doing nothing wrong.

Trainer Mike Moroney shot Bonnie Mac to his Sunshine Coast base straight after winning in Adelaide last start and she's been quite happy galloping in the Brisbane direction.

Brisbane trainer Kelso Wood has a couple of genuine chances at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Obviously outstanding youngster Sizzling is his standout runner in the BRC Sires Produce.

The horse goes to the 1400 metres third up and Wood can't fault Sizzling's condition.

While Sizzling can be a bit slow out he's suited by getting out to these longer races.

Belltone has drawn really well second up in the QTC Cup. In his last start, Belltone was trapped wide from a poor barrier but still fought on bravely behind Stradbroke contender, Tiger Tees.

Watch all the action from Eagle Farm this Saturday from midday (AEST) on Sky Racing 1 & World. Click here for Program Guide

Meanwhile, in harness racing, New Zealand's Jewels finals will be run at Cambridge on Saturday.

New South Wales trainer trainer Ian Wilson has sent Scandalman over for the 3YO Colts and Geldings final. While having not raced since winning the Newcastle Derby, Scandalman trialled at Penrith just over a week ago and appears right on track for a big effort.

Victorian trained Mustang Mach is in the 4YO Jewels final for Entires & Geldings.

Trainer Dean Braun left the horse with driver Dexter Dunn after winning the Group One Messenger and going by his times in a trial at Cambridge last week, Mustang Mach is very sharp for Saturday.

Sky Racing 2 will have coverage from 10AM (AEST). Click here for Program Guide


Andrew Bensley

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