Re­turnee shows supremacy

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

on the pos­i­tive side thank­ful that Dawn Ghost achieved a de­served ma­jor race win af­ter putting to­gether a frus­trat­ing string of mi­nor plac­ings.

Gra­ham Richard­son has the same glass half-full at­ti­tude that, along with un­ex­pected in­jury, is part and par­cel of be­ing in­volved in rac­ing. While hope­ful that My­di­a­mond Bracelet can make it back to the race­track, he’s feel­ing pretty chip­per about the over­all re­sults his team is de­liv­er­ing from its base in a leased 30-horse barn on the Mata­mata race­course.

‘‘We’ve been here for just over two years now and it’s work­ing bril­liantly,’’ he said. ‘‘Hav­ing the bulk of my team un­der one roof makes train­ing and over­all man­age­ment so much more or­gan­ised. It doesn’t suit ev­ery horse and with those, I’m able to train them from my Banks Rd prop­erty but be­ing on course and able to walk the 30 here di­rectly on to the track is a whole lot eas­ier.

‘‘The best thing of course is the re­sults we’ve been get­ting. The past two sea­sons were my best ever in terms of in­di­vid­ual win­ners (26 and 30) and I’m ab­so­lutely rapt with how this sea­son is go­ing. We’re well on tar­get to at least match the last two with 14 wins al­ready this sea­son.’’

That brings to bear the mile­stone re­ferred to above. Green Supreme’s week­end win took the tally of Richard­son­trained win­ners in New Zealand and Aus­tralia to 499 and with 11 ac­cep­tors at to­day’s (Wed­nes­day) lo­cal meet­ing he has his fin­gers crossed that he can bring up 500 on fa­mil­iar turf.

‘‘I keep a tally of my stats and it’s quite some­thing to think that we’re on the verge of 500. I know it’s not one of the well­recog­nised fig­ures to add my New Zealand and Aus­tralian wins to­gether but it def­i­nitely means a lot to me.’’

The lat­est Richard­son win­ner has had an in­ter­est­ing ca­reer, rac­ing ini­tially in New Zealand when, this time two years ago, he fin­ished third as a maiden in the Gr. 1 Levin Clas­sic and won his only re­main­ing lo­cal start be­fore be­ing sent to Hong Kong.

Things didn’t work out there with three un­placed starts, the last of them 15 months ago. Green Supreme re­turned to New Zealand ear­lier this year and has found his younger form in style with two wins, a sec­ond and a third from four starts for his new trainer.

‘‘He’s still owned in Hong Kong but I’ve never met his owner,’’ said Gra­ham. ‘‘At the Karaka year­lings sales ear­lier this year I was in­tro­duced to the Hong Kong agent Willy Le­ung, who has since put half a dozen Hong Kong-owned horses with me. Oth­ers owned by Green Supreme’s owner are Green Wings, a two-year-old who went a very good race for sec­ond in his only start.’’

Green Supreme and Sin­gle Minded are both en­tered for the Dun­stan Cham­pi­onship Fi­nal at Eller­slie on New Year’s Day but if Sin­gle Minded was to gain a start in the City Of Auck­land Cup on Box­ing Day he’ll go there in­stead.

‘‘He’s been re-hand­i­capped to 59 ki­los in the Dun­stan Fi­nal and I’d much rather he started in the City Of Auck­land Cup with only 52 on his back,’’ said Gra­ham. ‘‘The other thing is that he’s an out-and-out stayer and the 2400m would suit him bet­ter.’’

On top of their big re­turn at Te Rapa on Waikato Gold Cup day, Mata­mata train­ers re­mained to the fore there last Satur­day, win­ning half of the 10-race pro­gramme.

Other win­ners were the promis­ing Lance No­ble-trained stayer Brave Ali, Our Fa­mous Eve, who is cre­at­ing a very good record for trainer Glenn Old and owner-breed­ers the Brown fam­ily of An­croft Stud, the richly-bred Ja­son Bridg­mantrained filly Raziyya Of Syd­ney and the lat­est of many win­ners for lo­cal vet­eri­nar­ian Jim Marks, the Wayne and Vanessa Hil­lis-trained Have No Mercy.

Raziyya Of Syd­ney, who is by cham­pion stal­lion Red­oute’s Choice from former classy race­mare Zirna, is a long-term prospect for three-year-old stay­ing events, while Have No Mercy holds an en­try for the New Zealand Derby in March. He’s by Sav­abeel, the Waikato Stud stal­lion that has al­ready sired this sea­son’s Vic­to­ria Derby win­ner Sang­ster, from the former handy race mare Ko­hi­noor.

Ja­son Bridg­man also

Smil­ing in the rain: Gra­ham Richard­son wel­comes Green Supreme and James Mc­don­ald back to scale at Te Rapa on Satur­day.

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