NEWS PREVIEW

Bee Tee Junior rewards stable confidence at Te Rapa

Interviewed prior to the race, trainer Shaune Ritchie found it hard to find a negative about his charge’s chances and so it proved as the rugged Nom Du Jeu gelding scored with plenty in hand in the rating 85 contest.
Handled superbly by rejuvenated rider Troy Harris, Bee Tee Junior jumped nicely from his handy barrier draw to take up a prominent position behind the early speed. Harris didn’t panic as the pair found themselves shuffled back to beyond midfield when the field slowed up in the middle stages, carefully biding his time before angling for a run at the top of the straight.
Asked for an effort Bee Tee Junior found a sustained sprint that carried him past the eventual runner-up Stokers Rock and on to a narrow but comfortable short neck victory.
“He’s a good honest horse who has won seven races now,” noted Ritchie afterwards.
“It was a good ride by Troy who sat patiently throughout. I was smiling when he got into the trail then I thought we were in trouble and then I was smiling again when he got the job done.”
The victory has enhanced Bee Tee Junior’s prospects of a possible New Zealand Cup start later in the year, a race in which he finished eighth behind Pump Up The Volume in 2016.
“We’ve been able to place him pretty well and we think a New Zealand Cup is within his range,” said Ritchie.
“He ran in the race last year but it may have been a year to soon for him.
“We’ll look to space his races now and keep on the good winter tracks before sneaking down to Christchurch with what is hopefully a winnable weight for him.”
Bee Tee Junior has now won seven races from 25 career starts with stakes earnings approaching the $100,000 mark. The victory was the first for Ritchie this season after he enjoyed his best year as a trainer in his own right with 36 wins in 2016/17.

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