Star mare Keep the Peace could be head­ing back to New Zealand

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

SHAUNE Ritchie will rec­om­mend Keep The Peace miss the Group One BMW and re­turn to New Zealand to­day af­ter her dis­ap­point­ing dis­play in the Ran­vet Stakes.

The trainer fronted stew­ards at Rose­hill on Satur­day to give his opin­ion on the star New Zealand mare’s 91⁄ length de­feat in the Ran­vet ( 2000m), where she failed to beat a run­ner home.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously it was very dis­ap­point­ing,’’ Ritchie said.

‘‘ At home she has han­dled wet tracks, al­beit in lesser com­pany.

‘‘ James ( McDon­ald) felt she didn’t han­dle the ground, I went and saw her with the club vet and there ap­pears to be noth­ing ab­nor­mal.

‘‘ My ad­vice will be to take her back to New Zealand on Mon­day but the own­ers will have the fi­nal say.’’

Keep The Peace has won three times at Group One level in New Zealand but the mare has yet to crack it for a win in three starts in Aus­tralia.

Last year Keep The Peace came to Syd­ney for the AJC Aus­tralian Derby ( 2400m) but turned in the worst per­for­mance of her ca­reer and was later found to have mu­cous in her nose.

Keep The Peace re­turned to Aus­tralia in the spring for the Group Two Ma­tri­arch Stakes ( 2 0 0 0 m) i n Mel­bourne a nd flashed home from last to fin­ish third.

Young­ster James McDon­ald has rid­den Keep The Peace in two of her three Group One wins and got his first taste of Syd­ney car­ni­val rac­ing on Satur­day in the Ran­vet, won by $ 101 chance Zavite.

And while t he ex­pe­ri­ence didn’t go to script for the 19-year-old ap­pren­tice, the tal­ented rider still has his sights on giv­ing Aus­tralian rac­ing a crack at some point.

McDon­ald is New Zealand’s lat­est rid­ing sen­sa­tion with three straight ap­pren­tices’ ti­tles and also a se­nior j ockeys’ pre­mier­ship.

‘‘ Even­tu­ally I will ( come Aus­tralia),’’ McDon­ald said.

‘‘ I just need a kiwi horse to come over and prob­a­bly just kick me away a bit. But I will give it a crack one day.’’

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