Angeline will need a decent excuse to continue her classic campaign if she doesn’t further her record at Hastings on Wednesday.
Angeline running in the Royal Stakes Picture:Trish Dunell
Trainer Shaune Ritchie has high expectations of the filly in the Bostock New Zealand 2000 from his Gr.1 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks hope.
“She needs to be winning, if not extremely competitive in that field,” the Cambridge trainer said.
“She drops back in class, obviously, and we’re going to apply the blinkers just to sharpen her up and allow her to race handier.”
A daughter of Cape Blanco out of the Gr.2 Wellington Cup winner Megapins, Angeline ran fourth in the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes two runs back before she was out of luck when unplaced in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes.
At Ellerslie, she went back from the outside gate and then had little chance in a slowly-run race.
“She’s had some horrific draws, but from barrier three this time she should be able to position up a lot better,” Ritchie said.
“Horses that win the Oaks don’t lose races like this.”
Meanwhile, Ritchie’s other classic contender Devise is in good touch after her fourth placing in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic followed by a strong run for second behind Nicoletta in the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham last Saturday.
“My filly kept kicking and I do feel that my filly will improve so she’s on track for the Oaks,” he said.