Gatt Sidelined But Ritza Donna Set For Oaks Tilt
MARK Gatt is on the sidelines after a motorbike accident but the distraction hasn’t halted Ritza Donna’s build-up to Friday's Ladbrokes Richmond Oaks.
24 June 2022
TOP trainer Mark Gatt is on the sidelines after a motorbike accident on his property last week but the distraction hasn’t halted Ritza Donna’s build-up to Friday night’s $40,000-to-the-winner Group 2 Ladbrokes Richmond Oaks (520m).
Last Sunday, Gatt was flung from the bike, flying head first into a brick wall and spent the night in Hospital.
Amazingly he only suffered a serious concussion and a fracture in his hand.
“He was extremely lucky there’s no doubt about that,” brother and training partner Daniel Gatt said.
“It’s knocked him around, but the dogs haven’t missed a beat.
“Donna is ready to go.”
The winner of last year’s Group 1 Dapto Megastar and third placegetter in the Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park earlier this year, Ritza Donna booked her place in the Richmond bitches’ feature of the year when second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Yuko Girl in the heat time of 29.63.
Yuko Girl holds off a fast finishing Ritza Donna to smash the track record in the opening heat of the 2022 G2 Ladbrokes Richmond Oaks!
The previous mark of 29.76 was set by He's Grand days after the track reopened last month.
— The Dogs (@Thedogs_com_au) June 17, 2022
Gatt said drawing box six hasn’t favoured Ritza Donna, a desperate railer, but with some luck early she has the race smarts to overcome her awkward draw.
“When she draws out the instant reaction is yuk,” Daniel said. “But in saying that, this draw doesn’t look terrible because there’s so much speed under her and outside her.
“We know it’s unlikely that she leads so we just have to hope she can find her way to the rail and land in a spot somewhere not too far from the leaders.
“If that can happen, her race sense and strength are real qualities and it puts her in with a chance.”
Ritza Donna sits on the fourth line of betting with Tab.com.au for the Richmond Oaks at $8.50 behind the $1.90 favourite Good Odds Cash which Gatt declared “is the dog to beat”.
Yuko Girl is at $2.80 from the plum draw in box one while Fantastic Raven is at $7.50.
Meanwhile, on Saturday night the Gatt kennel has three runners at Wentworth Park and Daniel said progressive bitch Sekora is their best chance of a winner in the Ladbrokes Easy Form Stakes (520m).
Sekora has won three of her four starts since returning from a seasonal spell, including her latest run when overcoming box eight to win a Wednesday night 4/5th grade event at headquarters.
“She’s really matured since she’s come back from the seasonal spell,” Daniel said.
“Box seven isn’t ideal but she’s been handling herself well from wide draws lately and if she can have a bit of luck, they’ll know she’s there.”