Tritton seeks state double

PREPARATION: Trainer Shane Tritton and Easy On The Eye working out. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NSW premiership leader Shane Tritton is quietly confident of pushing for group success across two states on Saturday night as he focuses on a dual shot at group1 glory in Victoria.

The Keinbah trainer and NSW premiership-leading driver Lauren Panella will be at Melton on Saturday night as Easy On The Eye and Artistic Flite chase wins in the group1 Hunter Cup (3280 metres) and Victorian Derby (2240m) respectively.

Tritton and Panella will also challenge for the group3 Four-Year-Old Bonanza with Yayas Hot Spot, which finished third in the Victorian Derby for the Hunter combination last year.

Artistic Flite, an $18 chance with TAB Sportsbet on Friday, came through a tough run in the Derby heats to finish fourth but has drawn well in gate four for the finals.

Tritton said the group1 Gold Crown winner was underdone for the heats because of a lack of available racing and recent wet weather but showed his ability last week and loomed as a greater threat than Yayas Hot Spot was in 2014.

‘‘They are different types of horses but I think this horse has got a bit more depth to him and hopefully that tells in the end,’’ Tritton said. ‘‘Last year they turned the derby into a sprint home, but I think this year it will be more of a staying test and I think that suits this horse a lot better.

‘‘He’s a really nice horse and is the only one who sat in the chair in the heats and got through. It’s hard to do that on a cold and windy night, so we’re pretty confident of him being right in the mix.

‘‘He’s worked on really well this week and feels super, and having a frontline draw helps as well. He’ll be more than competitive.’’

Easy On The Eye, a $41 hope on Friday, has drawn the inside of the second line for the standing start Hunter Cup and Tritton was hopeful of him gaining a forward spot on the rails.

‘‘It’s a two-mile race and you want to get as many shortcuts as you can for as long as you can,’’ he said.

‘‘He’s going to get a nice run, he steps away very good and he’s had a lot of standing starts.

‘‘They are good horses in front of us, so hopefully they can bring us right into it and we are ready to go when we get our chance.’’

Yayas Hot Spot was at $14 in the market after drawing the outside of the front line.

‘‘It’s a pity we didn’t draw better, but he has raced against and beaten a lot of the horses in the race, so we’re quietly confident he’s right up to them,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s the most even race of the night, though, and he’s going to need luck at the start to get into position.’’

Tritton will be also watching Menangle on the same night with interest as exciting two-year-old Salty Robyn contests the group3 NSW Sapling Stakes.

He will also have Saucy Legend, one of six Interdominion nominations from the stable, racing in the group3 Tony Turnbull Cup.

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