Big pay days con­firm job well done

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport Awards -

MA­JOR wins at last week’s New Zealand Cup car­ni­val were the best pos­si­ble vin­di­ca­tion for the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties taken on this sea­son by Mata­mata train­ers Ja­son Bridg­man and An­drew Clarken.

Bridge­man notched his first Group One vic­tory with King’s Rose in the $300,000 New Zealand Blood­stock 1000 Guineas at Ric­car­ton on Satur­day, three days af­ter Clarken had sad­dled up Al­tered Im­age to post his first train­ing suc­cess in a group race, the $ 250,000 Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile.

Both young men took up their re­spec­tive roles at Te Akau Sta­bles and Bal­ly­more Sta­bles on Au­gust 1, Bridg­man to fill the big shoes of mul­ti­ple premier­ship win­ner Mark Walker while Clarken was tak­ing over from Paul Moroney as tran­stas­man li­cence­holder Mike Moroney’s New Zealand-based train­ing part­ner.

Less than four months later they can both re­flect on a job well done to this point along with the prospect of what the fu­ture holds.

The New Zealand 1000 Guineas win by King’s Rose was the sec­ond for Te Akau in the past three years af­ter In­sou­ciant scored in 2007 and stands along­side wins by Tell A Tale, Darci Brahma and King’s Chapel in the other Ric­car­ton clas­sic, the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, ear­lier in the decade.

And as with those wins, the role that Te Akau’s satel­lite sta­ble at Ran­giora plays in that South Is­land suc­cess was again a cru­cial fac­tor.

‘‘We gave King’s Rose a month’s work at Mata­mata be­fore send­ing her south in Au­gust with the plan to set her for the 1000 Guineas,’’ says Bridg­man. ‘‘ The catch was that with the win­ter hav­ing been so wet and cold she took a while to start to thrive and it was re­ally only af­ter she won at Ash­bur­ton mid­way through last month that we knew we were on tar­get.

‘‘ That was what con­vinced Opie (Bos­son) that she would be the one to beat and then when I was back down south a cou­ple of weeks later I could see she had turned the corner. We were pretty con­fi­dent.’’

Cap­ping off the big day, Bridg­man and Bos­son also com­bined to win the fea­ture twoyear-old race with hand­some colt Be­spoke.

Nor was that the end of the week­end ac­tion for Te Akau Rac­ing. Mark Walker chimed in with his first suc­cess af­ter two months in Singapore, sad­dling up Rio For­tune and Cor­sage to win con­sec­u­tive races at Kranji on Sun­day night and adding a sec­ond plac­ing in the Singapore Gold Cup with Tell A Tale.

Teamwork was also the dom­i­nant as­pect of Al­tered Im­age’s vic­tory in the Cou­p­land’s Bak­eries Mile. That was in­te­gral to his re­cov­ery from a se­ri­ous ten­don in­jury suf­fered when he met se­vere in­ter­fer­ence in last year’s Mudg­way Partsworld Stake.s

Al­tered Im­age, who showed his class nearly two years ago by win­ning the Bayer Clas­sic, re­turned to rac­ing in Septem­ber and was a win­ner at his sec­ond start back. That con­firmed plans for Ric­car­ton and helped by Michael Cole­man’s skil­ful han­dling, Al­tered Im­age over­came a wide draw and out­classed his op­po­si­tion.

‘‘Train­ing can be easy when you’re deal­ing with horses that have got his tal­ent,’’ said Clarken.

‘‘ It’s been great to have my part­ner Olivia in­volved as his reg­u­lar track­work rider and to be able to draw on what Paul ( Moroney) and Mickey ( Cole­man) know about him.

An­other rel­a­tively new face on the lo­cal train­ing scene to at­tain a per­sonal mile­stone on the week­end was for­mer Cam­bridge horse­man Mark Brooks.

On Sun­day at Te Awa­mutu Brooks posted his first win since tak­ing up the po­si­tion as Waikato Stud’s pri­vate trainer at the start of the sea­son. It was only a mi­nor maiden race that was won by first starter Flut­ter but it would still have meant a lot to Brooks to break his duck, es­pe­cially with his part­ner Michelle Wenn in the sad­dle.

King’s Rose: Led in by Emma Stack­house at the $300,000 New Zealand Blood­stock 1000 Guineas at Ric­car­ton on Satur­day.

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