Miss Upstart on track for big win
GRAHAM Richardson reckons he’s got the goods to add the $100,000 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes to his list of feature race successes.
Miss Upstart is the winner of two of her five starts to date and in her trainer’s opinion is on target for her biggest test to date come Saturday week.
‘‘We’ve been having a good season and she’s easily the best of my two-yearolds,’’ said Graham, who prepares his team from a new purpose-built barn on the Matamata racecourse.
‘‘She had a very good early summer then not much luck but she’s come back well after a short let- up.
‘‘I’ve only ever had one other runner in the Breeders’ Stakes and it didn’t have a lot going for it at the time but this filly is the real deal.’’
The Richardson stable enjoyed its best ever season with 30 wins in 2009-10 and with 15 wins at the halfway stage of the current term that target is well in sight again.
Last October’s Team Wealleans Matamata Cup day proved a landmark occasion, with highest rated stable member Atom Cat taking out the feature event and the smart sprinting mare Show Up adding the appropriately-named Richardson Racing Stables 1200.
‘‘That was a fantastic day with all our clients there, one we’ll always remember,’’ said Graham.
‘‘But if we’re lucky enough to win the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes in front of our home crowd – I’d say that would be at least on a par.’’
Miss Upstart is raced by Warren Pegg, a Sydney businessman with breeding interests on this side of the Tasman. He became a client of the Richardson stable after reading an advertisement on the weekly on-line newsletter issued by New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing.
‘‘Around this time last year we decided to spend a bit on advertising to what we hoped would be a wider audience,’’ Graham recalls.
‘‘That put Warren in touch with us and it was a perfect result when this filly, who he had passed in at the Karaka sales, won at her first start in the spring.
‘‘She’s not very big but she’s got natural ability. We sent her to Trentham for the Wellesley Stakes in late October but the ground was heavy and she got tied up in it. Then she bounced back and scored really well in a stakes race at Pukekohe.
‘‘She had two more runs after that but she was badly checked in the first of them and when she ran in the Eclipse Stakes it was obvious that her confidence had taken a knock.
‘‘I decided to ease off on her and target the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes. She’s been working in blinkers since she came back into the stable and I’m very happy with her.
‘‘She’s only small, 15 hands at the most, but she’s very powerful through the body and the way she finishes off her races I think she’ll run over a bit of ground.
‘‘That’s for later though,’’ Graham added. ‘‘Right now our eyes are on the big home track prize.’’
Real deal filly: Graham Richardson and Miss Upstart.