Mata­mata tri­umphs again

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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