Kembla Grange trainer Michelle Ritchie is hoping to face a dilemma after consistent mare Dolly’s Due makes her metropolitan debut at Warwick Farm.
Should the four-year-old win Wednesday’s Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m), Ritchie’s $3000 purchase will graduate to class five, the threshold for competing in next year’s Provincial Championships.
“If she wins do I tip her out for a few weeks and get her ready for the Provincial Championships or do I push on with her? It’ll be a hard decision depending how she goes,” Ritchie said.
Dolly’s Due has four wins and five placings from her nine starts and will be racing for the first time since claiming a Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m) at Nowra in May.
“I picked her up as a baby at an Inglis sale and she hasn’t disappointed,” Ritchie said.
She acknowledged Dolly’s Due faced a tough challenge first-up against city grade horses but the sprinter’s record and work was encouraging.
Dolly’s Due won a trial at Warwick Farm on October 9 despite an uncharacteristically poor start.
“She missed the kick because there was a horse playing up beside her but usually she just jumps and runs. Even when she’s drawn wide she always goes straight to the front,” Ritchie said.
“City class horses are bit different but nothing’s ever been able to beat her out the gate in the country.”
Dolly’s Due has been back in work for several weeks but Ritchie doesn’t push her.
“She has a few runs, a bit of a let-up and then she goes back into work,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie said the pick of her stable, Better Not Blue, would run in a barrier trial at Canterbury on Friday ahead of his comeback at Rosehill on December 2.
The plan is then to send this year’s Provincial Championship runner-up to Doomben for the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) on December 16.