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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Tuesday, February 07 2017

A fitter Devise will be out to turn the tables on Nicoletta in the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa on Saturday, but there is still one major stumbling block facing the Cambridge filly.

Devise (nearest camera) just going down to Nicoletta in the Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham.

Devise (nearest camera) just going down to Nicoletta in the Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham.

When nominations for the 2000-metre feature closed today there were just seven entries, but Devise’s trainer Shaune Ritchie knows that it may not be strong on quantity, but it’s a race chock full of quality.

Devise has won two of her five starts and been placed in her last two outings. She finished fourth behind the unbeaten Volpe Veloce in the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day then a short head second to Nicoletta in the Gr.3 Wellfield Desert Gold Stakes over the same trip at Trentham last Saturday week.

Nicoletta and Desert Gold Stakes third placegetter Bonneval are again opponents for Devise and so, too, is Volpe Veloce, who stretched her unbeaten sequence to seven when defeating Heroic Valour in the Listed NZB Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile at Ellerslie last Sunday week.

“It’s a Group Two race and I’d be happy to see her run the quinella with that very good filly (Volpe Veloce),” said Ritchie. “It’s going to be hard to beat her, but I’m happy with my filly.

“She had a couple of weeks off after she ran on Boxing Day and she just came to the end of her run last time. She’s going to be fitter this time.”

Ritchie also believes Devise will appreciate the step up from 1600 to 2000 metres. “She’ll get the mile and a half (2400m) of the Oaks,” he said.

Tactics will play a big part in the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic, as will be the case for Ritchie’s other Group One candidate, Snow Secret, in the Rating 85 $30,000 2400-metre event.

Snow Secret is one of just five entries for the staying race and Ritchie breathed a sigh of relief when told by the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Bureau the race will go ahead even if there are no more nominations.

“It’s the softer option for her rather than going for the Avondale Cup, but the problem is there will probably be no speed in the race,” said Ritchie. “They’ll probably walk then sprint home and that won’t suit her, but I’d rather run her in this than the Avondale Cup as a lead-up to the Auckland Cup.

“Provided she does all right she’ll go straight into the Auckland Cup and I know the two miles (3200m) will suit her.”

Snow Secret has been freshened since finished an unlucky seventh behind Savaria in the Gr.3 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup.

Posted by: AT 01:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email