Returnee shows supremacy
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.