Winners rising from Ritchie barn

Frank Ritchie unleashed another promising three-year-old at Te Awamutu today as he closes in on a Group One mission for his stable’s exciting youngster Dawn Patrol.

The Cambridge trainer saddled up Phoenix Rising, a daughter of Roc de Cambes, to clear maiden ranks in just her second start when taking the Dunstan Speedfeed 1400.

Racing in The Oaks’ colours, Phoenix Rising drifted to midfield on settling and after being third-last with 600m to run, rider Michael Coleman weaved a passage through the field on her.

Coleman angled her out into the clear on the home turn and she finished strongly to win by a short head and lead home a Cambridge trifecta, with the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Expresso Martini fighting strongly for second ahead of the strong-finishing Crown Prosecutor from Stephen Marsh’s barn.

Phoenix Rising has been placed in his two trials before catching the eye with a late burst for fourth on debut over 1200m at Te Aroha a couple of weeks ago.

“She appreciated the step up to 1400m and it was a lovely ride by Michael,” said Ritchie.

Coleman downplayed his ride, though admitting Phoenix Rising shows plenty of promise.

“She hadn’t had that much practice and the runs came at the right time down the side,” he said. “       

Wally O’Hearn


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