Matamata triumphs again
home and they don’t seem that keen to travel,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a nice problem to have – if that’s what you’d call it – and if she does stay home there are still races like the Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha to run in.’’
A face that hadn’t been seen on a New Zealand racecourse for close to a year showed up at Te Rapa on Saturday, none other than Vinnie Colgan, who left for Australia last autumn after winning the New Zealand Derby for the fifth time on Habibi.
Vinnie returned from his Brisbane base at the request of his former boss Roger James, and he delivered first with a win on the stable’s Derby prospect Delago’s Secret and then with an inspired front-running ride on O’Reilly filly Hera to win the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic.
Vinnie is to spend the next few weeks based in Matamata and his availability will no doubt be rewarded with plenty more opportunities, which will include feature races on the J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes programme on Saturday week.
Last Saturday’s big Te Rapa meeting was ushered in by another bi-annual New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame function in Hamilton on Friday night, when nine high achievers were inducted to the roll of honour.
Among them was the champion sprinter Mr Tiz, whose career was recapped on this page just last week after his death at the age of 29 at Wexford Stables.
His induction to the Hall Of Fame, where among others he joins his former co-trainer Dave O’Sullivan and jockey Lance O’Sullivan, is a fitting tribute to one of the greats of the New Zealand turf.
Well done: Viadana and victorious jockey Craig Grylls are escorted back after their NRM Sprint win by a trio of happy owners, including Tina Troughton, resplendent in her outfit that matches the Easdon Lodge racing colours.