Horse rac­ing re­tains spec­ta­tor pop­u­lar­ity

Matamata Chronicle - - Breeders’ Stakes -

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.

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