Better Not Blue is the horse no-one wanted and is now racing in the race, trainer and owner Michelle Ritchie “really didn’t want to be in” as he takes his place in the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final at Randwick on Saturday.
After a midfield finish in last year’s final, Ritchie had hoped to not be eligible for the Provincial Championships this year by posting a couple more wins. None have eventuated.
Left: Better Not Blue - looms as a big threat in the $400K Provincial Championships Final. Image by - Racing & Sports
“He hasn’t won for a while but he keeps running good races and hopefully Saturday he can get a win in a big race,” Ritchie said. “He has ran second in a Civic Stakes and handle the wet track at Randwick, so that is better than most of these. If you look at benchmarks he is the one to beat.”
Ritchie only paid $10,000 for Better Not Blue, who has won nearly $250,000 since being offered to all the Murray stable clients.
“We paraded him at open days and no-one wanted a share, so I kept him,” Ritchie said. “That has worked out pretty well and will be better if he adds another $212,000 on Saturday.”
Better Not Blue qualified in the Wyong heat flying late but just fell short of Noble Joey: “Everyone says it was the run of the race, so hopefully we have Luke and Rob’s horse (Noble Joey) covered in the final,” Ritchie said. “I think the other Kembla horse Pomelo is the one to beat.
“It is funny because even at the start of this preparation I was thinking about the BRC Sprint in Brisbane for him rather than this race but it just fitted well to get there. It might have been meant to be.”
Better Not Blue is one of six runners in the final from Kembla Grange, including favourite Pomelo from the Gwenda Markwell yard. She is confident that the Wyong qualifier winner will relish the 1400m.
“She has done everything right and I think 1400m will be her best trip, so I think we have a real chance,” Markwell said.