Trainer Shaune Ritchie is looking forward to lining up Sultan of Swing (Bachelor Duke x Queen Cha Cha) in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day after his win in the Gr.3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.
“I’m pretty keen to get him up over a mile,” Ritchie said. “He used to be very good as a sprinter fresh-up, but now he’s a year older he’s racing back in the field a little bit and with these 1400m and mile races being run at a good clip I think it will suit him.”
Although pleased with Saturday’s win, Ritchie does hold some concerns about the way his charge is finishing his races of late.
“He’s been a very good horse. His form is remarkably consistent, but in his last couple of starts he’s looked like he’s had an unwillingness to win races,” Ritchie said.
“He went up alongside Magnum (on Saturday) like he was going to win and then he got headed. I thought he was going to give it away again, but he kicked back on the line.
“He’s not running his races truly to the line and I have no idea why. He’s vetted up all good and he’s racing in pretty good form, but it’s just a little bit of a concern that he’s not attacking the line like he was as a younger horse.”
All going to plan, Sultan of Swing could be set for bigger targets next year.
“If he did happen to win the Rich Hill, we’d probably back off and have a look at the 1400m weight-for-age race at Te Rapa and maybe the Otaki Group One mile.”
Sultan of Swing was born and raised at Trelawney Stud for owner-breeder IDL Racing.– NZ Racing Desk