By Ray Hickson
When it comes to promoting your horse as a Kosciuszko chance the best advertisement is winning so trainer Michelle Ritchie knows there’s a bit on the line for Dolly’s Due at Kembla Grange on Thursday.
Ritchie only has the two horses in work at Nowra and is adamant the six-year-old mare wouldn’t be out of place in the $1.3m The Kosciuszko (1200m) in October.
But the problem is Dolly’s Due isn’t a high profile horse from a high profile stable.
“Her recent form is as good as any that I’ve seen, there are a few good horses on the top there but some of them I think she’s equal to,’’ Ritchie said.
“The hardest part is knowing whether you are a chance of getting in.’’
The ticket draw for The Kosciuszko, with the $5 tickets currently on sale, isn’t until September 10 so if Dolly’s Due wins the Blackbutt Conditional Handicap (1400m) then Ritchie said she’ll have to give the mare a break.
Dolly's Due wins at Kembla Grange on July 20
That means not having her in the public eye around the time of the draw but if she is to be a chance of winning the race – remember a $71 chance won the inaugural running – the horse has to be freshened up.
“She’d only be able to have a couple of weeks off then I’d have to get back into her again,’’ she said.
“She’s been in since December but she’s only had five runs. She lives on the beach and in the paddock, she doesn’t live in the stable, so she has the best of both worlds.
“She’d have to run really well and maybe she might catch the eye of someone.
“You just have to be in the right place at the right time but it’s hard to work out a prep for her at this stage.’’
Ritchie is confident Dolly’s Due, the early $3.60 favourite with TAB, will run her usual competitive race at what is her first attempt at 1400m.
It’s a box the trainer is keen to have ticked because the Randwick 1200m is a much tougher course.
The mare was strong at the end of 1300m winning at Kembla Grange on July 20, despite missing the start, so Ritchie feels she’s every chance of proving too good again.
“I’ve never run her over that distance, she has a bit more weight but I still think she will run a very good race,’’ she said.
“She’s just in the best form of her life. She hasn’t had much luck at all but she is doing the job. I’m really happy with the way she’s going.’’
For full details on the Kosciuszko visit The Kosciuszko website.