Ritchie wants old magic to rub off

BoneCrusher ridden by Pat Eddery wins the Bonusprint Stakes. Photo: Getty Images
BoneCrusher ridden by Pat Eddery wins the Bonusprint Stakes. Photo: Getty Images
Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie never gets sick of talking about Bonecrusher.

Which is just as well, as the hero who thrust the Cambridge trainer into the limelight more than 30 years ago is going to be everywhere Ritchie goes this week.

Ritchie has a big weekend by any trainer's standards, with Devise in the Australian Cup and Excalibur a serious winning chance in the $500,000 Auckland Cup at Ellerslie, both tomorrow.

Ritchie could have had the second-favourite in the Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie, but he and the connections of Devise have decided to roll the dice against the big boys at Flemington.

"She already has a group 1 weight-for-age win here so while another one here would be great, a placing in an Australian Cup might hold more credence when she heads to the broodmare paddock," Ritchie said

"So we can't be everywhere and while it is a tough field, she is right at her peak."

Excalibur has a triple helping of Bonecrusher magic going for him, trained by Ritchie, part-owned by the Peter Mitchell who raced the champion, and wearing his colours.

"He has always raced like a horse who would handle 3200m,"Ritchie said.

"And he has arrived here fit and ready to go. I think his barrier (2) suits because while he will get back he won't have to do any work in the first half of the race.

"And he is bred to stay, so I think he has a great chance."

Ladies First has opened the $4.20 favourite in an even cup market, while Lizzie L'Amour will be a hot favourite in the Bonecrusher Stakes.

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