Horse racing retains spectator popularity
Late February in Matamata is the focus of more than just the community with final preparations for the 2012 renewal of the country’s most prestigious race for two-year-old fillies, the $100,000 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.
Since its first running in 1969, the group two feature has been targeted by the very best female members of the juvenile crop.
Members of the formidable local contingent have won the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes 18 times but visitors have also played a major role.
Last year the outstanding Cambridge filly Anabandana was a dominant winner in near record time, form that was underlined when she proceeded to add the country’s two juvenile group one races and confirm her champion two-year-old status.
With a win and a second in her only two starts to date, Anabandana’s year younger stablemate Oasis Rose, racing in the colours of Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan, is a leading prospect to complete a Breeders’ Stakes’ double for trainer Don Sellwood.
That will be only part of the action on the track on the afternoon of February 25.
The premier programme also features the $ 45,000 Stanley Group TRAC Stakes, which acts as an important lead- up to the Auckland Cup 11 days later and the $ 45,000 Reid and Harrison Slipper, contested by leading twoyear- old colts and geldings.
Racing apart, the day also provides a wide range of entertainment for young and old.
Three categories in the popular Fashions in the Field provide a wide range of options for women and men, while a range of activities have been organised for younger racegoers.
Matamata Breeders’ Stakes day could not take place without the generous support of sponsors for the races themselves and the fashion contest.
Heading the field, so to speak, in that regard is major operation J Swap Contractors, whose ongoing sponsorship of the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes not only enables prize- money for the club’s flagship race to be maintained at $ 100,000 but also provides for free gate entry to all racegoers.
As witnessed at the return to a twilight schedule for the club’s preChristmas fixture, racegoing remains high on the list of social activities for the people of this district.
The welcome mat is therefore out for you to come along and join in what promises to be an exciting day of racing and entertainment.
John Moore: Matamata Racing Club president.