A WINTER escape is on the cards for exciting youngster Ripp.
Following his success in an Australian Pacing Gold Bullion Final at Club Menangle tonight, Ripp has been earmarked for a Queensland campaign.
Along with the state’s Derby, trainer Bernie Hewitt hopes the three-year-old can earn a berth in The Rising Sun.
The features are scheduled to be run at Albion Park in July.
“I’ve had Queensland in mind for him, but it is definitely on the cards now,” Hewitt said. “Tonight is his second Group One win from seven starts, and really, we are lucky he is even racing.
“After just one run last season he went through a dry creek bed and stripped his back leg right into his tendon.
“He had all the time he needed to recover and I’m pretty pleased with the way he has come back.
“The Queensland and South East Derbys is what we will head up for, but I’m hoping he has done enough to get an invite to The Rising Sun.”
After being restricted to a debut win last season, Ripp has made a claim as being New South Wales’ top three-year-old with five wins and a third from six starts.
The gelding’s latest victory was the result of a perfect trail behind the leader, defending champion My Ultimate Byron, before sprinting to a seven-metre win from Black Onyx.
My Ultimate Byron battled on to be three metres away third.
“With the kind of run he got he was always going to be hard to hold out,” Hewitt said. “Once he was in the clear he showed great speed.
“I really like him and think he can go a fair way.”
Driven by Doug Hewitt, Ripp covered the mile in 1:51.8 to provide Hewitt with the opening leg of an APG double.
Occupying the sulky behind Jew Melody, Hewitt guided to the daughter of Captaintreacherous to an effortless 20-metre win from Promiseland.
Most Triumphant was 17 metres away third.
Stopping the clock in 1:53.4, the two-year-old stretched her record to four wins and three placings from seven starts for earnings of $155,800.
“I couldn’t be more impressed with this filly,” Hewitt said. “She hasn’t stopped improving and gives the impression there is a lot more to come.
“She did it easily tonight and could have gone a lot quicker if pushed.”
- PAUL COURTS