Re­turn of twi­light meet­ing pop­u­lar

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The busy hol­i­day rac­ing pe­riod got off to an early start for Mata­mata par­tic­i­pants with a hugely suc­cess­ful re­turn to the pop­u­lar pre-christ­mas twi­light race meet­ing on their home course and con­tin­ued with im­pres­sive re­turns right through the fes­tive sea­son.

Af­ter putting for­ward a case for the re­vival of the twi­light meet­ing con­cept that had proven so pop­u­lar for a num­ber of years, the Mata­mata Rac­ing Club fi­nally got the green light from rac­ing au­thor­i­ties and the out­come was hugely pleas­ing for all con­cerned.

An eight-race pro­gramme be­gin­ning in mid-af­ter­noon had additional spice with a guar­an­teed $500,000 Pick6 jack­pot that grew to just a few thou­sand dol­lars short of $800,000 and the weather played its part to pro­vide a near per­fect rac­ing sur­face and at­tract a 2000-plus crowd of pre-christ­mas race­go­ers.

The lo­cals won five races and three legs of Pick6, with a suc­ces­sion of favourites spread­ing the $790,000 jack­pot pool be­tween the equiv­a­lent of 89 win­ning units at a div­i­dend of $8,913.50, pro­vid­ing a Christ­mas wind­fall for many.

Gra­ham Richard­son’s run of early sum­mer form con­tin­ued when he sad­dled up the first three placeget­ters in the sec­ond race on the pro­gramme, the El­ders Live­stock 1200.

Com­bined with other plac­ings on the day, he claimed the train­ers’ points prize and a ham pro­vided by our friendly neigh­bour­hood butcher Wayne Dickinson.

The win by Bel­la­cat, hav­ing just her sec­ond start for own­ers Bill and Mimi Lloyd, pro­vided a mile­stone 500th win for her trainer, whose ca­reer had be­gun as ju­nior part­ner of Mike Moroney. The run of early sum­mer form by the Richard­son sta­ble con­tin­ued when the big money was up at the Auck­land Rac­ing Club’s Christ­mas-new Year meet­ing, with vic­tory in the very first race of the three-day meet­ing, an­other on the sec­ond day and then a bumper re­turn on New Year’s Day. Hopes had been high that the form lines of the two ris­ing stay­ing stars in the team, Green Supreme and Sin­gle Minded, would hold true – and so it proved.

Green Supreme, the horse that re­turned from Hong Kong last year af­ter a ma­jor form slump, put up a su­perb per­for­mance to win the keenly con­tested Dun­stan Feeds Cham­pi­onship Fi­nal with an­other dom­i­nant per­for­mance. Sin­gle Minded backed his trainer’s judg­ment in opt­ing for the City Of Auck­land Cup ahead of the Dun­stan Fi­nal with an equally im­pres­sive vic­tory in the Group Two fea­ture and for good mea­sure his un­der-rated sta­ble­mate Top Spot took third place. It’s now pos­si­ble that the Richard­son sta­ble will have as many as four run­ners in the Welling­ton Cup at Tren­tham later this month, with Don Domingo – scratched from the City of Auck­land Cup due to un­suit­able track con­di­tions – likely to join the three Eller­slie run­ners. Graeme also got a share of an­other New Year’s Day fea­ture, the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile, with Vil­li­fye fin­ish­ing third and hardy cam­paigner Sir­cross fifth.

Fel­low Mata­mata train­ers Ja­son Bridg­man and the Mike Moroney-an­drew Clarken part­ner­ship also got their share of the spoils avail­able on the first day of 2012. Ja­son pro­duced the quinella for the Gr. 3 Eclipse Stakes, Warhorse prov­ing too pro­fes­sional for the still learn­ing Ir­ish Rebel. Mata­mata two year olds com­pletely dom­i­nated this race, with the John Sar­gent-trained pair Magic Shaft and Marechal the next to fin­ish and Dan­ica Guy’s Saatchi in fifth place.

Chicharita led home a Mata­mata quinella when she downed the Glenn Old­trained Our Fa­mous Eve in the Gr. 2 Royal Stakes. Chicharita had looked the part when win­ning at Eller­slie in mid-de­cem­ber and made the step up to elite com­pany with a solid win. Chicharita was rid­den in her win by Chad Ormsby, a tal­ented jockey whose ca­reer has been com­pro­mised by weight is­sues. Later the same week it was an­nounced by Bal­ly­more Sta­bles that Chad, the part­ner of Mike Moroney’s daugh­ter Aliesha Moroney, will take over on Au­gust 1 from An­drew Clarken as Mike’s Mata­mata-based train­ing part­ner.

Im­pres­sive: An­other big win for Gra­ham Richard­son as Sin­gle Minded and Craig Grylls claim the $100,000 City Of Auck­land Cup at Eller­slie on New Year’s Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.