As New Zealand trainer Shaune Ritchie prepares to start two horses in different Australian states, another of his team has put his hand up for a trip across the Tasman.
Ritchie has Snow Secret running in Melbourne on Saturday and three-year-old filly No Pushover in the Listed Gold Bracelet at the Gold Coast.
The trainer now has Queensland Derby aspirations for three-year-old Street Smart after his 2100m-win at Pukekohe on Friday.
“He ran around like a goose and he’s got a lot to learn,” Ritchie said.
“But obviously there’s underlying talent there and if he can win on a slow track over 2100 metres then there’s no question marks about the mile-and-a-half in the Queensland Derby.”
He said the problem would be building Street Smart’s prize money to ensure a Derby start.
“He may need to go to Sydney or somewhere else before the Derby,” he said.
The trainer expects a good showing from Snow Secret in the Mother’s Day Hcp (2000m) at Flemington.
Fourth in this year’s Wellington Cup, Snow Secret ran twice in Australia last May.
She was fifth in a race at Caulfield and fifth in the Group Three SA Fillies Classic.
“I don’t think her ability in a benchmark race is in question,” Ritchie said.
“She’s got a strong finish and we’re expecting her to be highly competitive in a race like this.”
Ritchie has earmarked the Listed Centaurea Stakes (2000m) at Morphettville in two weeks as a target.
“If she was to win or be unlucky not to win on Saturday, she’ll press on to Adelaide and chase that elusive black type,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie said No Pushover, a Listed winner over 1600m, faced a test in the Bracelet over 1800m.
“She won a stakes race on the South Island which is probably considered second tier form to the North Island in New Zealand and this is a big step up in class,” he said.
“But she’s got a barrier to get an economical run and she races on the pace, so she’ll get her chance from there.”