Aust Cup option for NZ Group One winner

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February 26, 2018 - 01:03 PM

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The Australian Cup is an option for New Zealand's latest Group One winner Devise with trainer Shaun Ritchie keeping an eye on the weather on both sides of the Tasman.

In the absence of the injured Bonneval who beat her in last year's NZ Oaks, Devise won Saturday's Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) at Hastings.

"There are two options for her. She still holds a nomination for the Australian Cup at Flemington, which is the same day as the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes," Ritchie told NZ Racing Desk.

"Her training regime will be exactly the same wherever we go. The worry is a wet track at Ellerslie and Flemington dries extremely well so we would have no concerns there.

"She's already climbed the biggest mountain here with that Group One win so it would be interesting to see where she sits over in Australia. She's got a bit of form around Bonneval.

"As Murray Baker has said, you can't be afraid of them and a placing in the Australian Cup would hold more stead for her future breeding career than another Group One win here."

Ritchie said a final decision would be made by The Oaks Stud's Rick Williams, racing manager for the farm's owner Dick Karreman, who also bred Devise.

"It's weather-dependent and it will be up to Rick, but the call doesn't have to be made until next week," he said.