Re­flect­ing on achieve­ments

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

re­cent months, to the point that he and his wife Susie have taken up per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Syd­ney and long-time Mata­mata sta­ble fore­man Hay­den Allen has gone into a train­ing part­ner­ship with his boss.

The 2012-13 sea­son proved to a ca­reer best for Lance No­ble, who trained 34 win­ners to fin­ish thir­teenth on the ta­ble. His list was headed by Manco Easter Hand­i­cap win­ner Vi­adana, cred­it­ing Lance with his first Group One suc­cess in his own right, hav­ing shared in sev­eral when ju­nior part­ner with Jim Gibbs and Roger James.

Other Mata­mata train­ers to se­cure top-20 premier­ship spots were the Mike Moroney-Chad Ormsby part­ner­ship on 33 wins, Gra­ham Richard­son with 32 wins and Wayne and Vanessa Hil­lis on 27. Chad’s ef­fort in his new role at Bal­ly­more Sta­bles cer­tainly au­gurs well for the fu­ture.

Next best of the lo­cals was An­drew Scott on 26 win­ners, with the big news around Wex­ford Sta­bles be­ing a re­turn this sea­son to the for­mer train­ing part­ner­ship of An­drew and Lance O’Sul­li­van. In his rel­a­tively brief stint train­ing sev­eral years ago, ini­tially solo when his brother Paul re­lo­cated to Hong Kong then in part­ner­ship with An­drew, Lance made a fruit­ful tran­si­tion from his cham­pion jockey days.

His most no­table win was the Auck­land Cup with Pen­tane, and hav­ing kept his hand in rid­ing reg­u­lar track­work, he’s keen to again be­come more closely in­volved at Mata­mata’s most suc­cess­ful sta­ble.

The first sea­son part­ner­ship of Paul and Kris Shailer got pleas­ing re­sults with 16 wins and a sec­ond plac­ing in the coun­try’s rich­est race, the Karaka Mil­lion, with the very promis­ing filly Fan­tas­tic Hon­our. An even newer part­ner­ship was Peter McKay be­ing joined by his son Ja­cob and they ended the sea­son with 16 wins to go with the five that Peter se­cured be­fore tak­ing Ja­cob on board.

Mata­mata’s long­est stand­ing train­ing part­ner­ship, Ken and Bev Kelso, had a mem­o­rable sea­son with their se­lect team for 15 wins from just 59 race­day starters and a strike-rate of 3.93. That statistic was matched by qual­ity, headed by Xanadu’s win in the Gr. 1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thor­ough­bred Breeders’ Stakes and a Group Two tre­ble to Fix, who se­cured the pres­ti­gious New Zealand Blood­stock Filly of the Year ti­tle.

The Kel­sos’ sea­son didn’t end there, with two-yearold filly Bound­ing win­ning one stakes race as well as fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the lo­cal flag­ship race, the J Swap Con­trac­tors Mata­mata Breeders Stakes, and sec­ond in the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Di­a­mond Stakes at Eller­slie. On the same track Fix fin­ished sec­ond in the TV3 New Zealand Derby, while Xanadu’s plac­ings in­cluded sec­onds in the Gr. 1 Tele­graph Hand­i­cap, Waikato Draught Sprint and Makfi Chal­lenge Stakes.

At this Thurs­day’s awards func­tion in Hamil­ton the Kelso trio are fi­nal­ists in their re­spec­tive New Zealand Thor­ough­bred Horse of the Year cat­e­gories, an achieve­ment in it­self that re­flects their train­ers’ won­der­ful sea­son.

The lo­cal horse that is ex­pected to be right to the fore on awards night is Cox Plate win­ner Ocean Park, who is rul­ing favourite to take out the Cham­pion Mid­dle Dis­tance cat­e­gory and the ul­ti­mate New Zealand Horse of the Year ti­tle.

Trainer Gary Hen­nessy is also a fi­nal­ist along with Hong Kong part­ners An­drew Wong and Steve Yan in the Owner of the Year cat­e­gory.

Gary Chittick is once again a Breeder of the Year nom­i­na­tion, while Waikato Stud’s Iguazu Girl, the dam of New Zealand 2000 Guineas and Don­caster Mile win­ner Sa­cred Falls, is a fi­nal­ist for the Brood­mare of the Year ti­tle.

Two stars of last sea­son: The Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Xanadu (right) and Bound­ing, tune up for their re­turn to rac­ing with an ex­hi­bi­tion gal­lop at Te Aroha last Fri­day.

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