Lady Le Fay’s luck changes round

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

for­ward to get­ting her over ground,’’ said Kris Shailer. ‘‘Things didn’t go to plan on Satur­day but she was still too good for them, so yeah, she looks very promis­ing.’’

Lady Le Fay’s maiden win was over 1600 me­tres in late Septem­ber, after which she re­peated over the same track and dis­tance on Team Weal­leans Mata­mata Cup day and then hit the line hard for third, again over 1600 me­tres, at Te Rapa on Oc­to­ber 27.

‘‘Be­ing forced to race wide with­out cover in those con­di­tions on Satur­day made it a tough run, so we’ll give her a few days to get over it,’’ added Kris. ‘‘We’ll see what points she gets for the win and then de­cide whether to give her another run or per­haps wait for the Waikato Cup.

‘‘If we thought she’d make the field it wouldn’t worry us if she didn’t run again; she’s a horse that doesn’t need a lot of work once she’s fully fit.’’

The Thorn Park mare’s re­cent for­tunes are in di­rect con­trast to what be­gan as a frus­trat­ing se­quence just over a year ago.

After an un­lucky de­but sec­ond as a spring three-year-old she was be­ing se­ri­ously con­sid­ered for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas, but a virus brought an end to those plans.

Once she re­cov­ered, at­ten­tion turned to ma­jor age group events later in the sea­son, only for a bone-chip in a fet­lock to sur­face days be­fore her come­back race, ne­ces­si­tat­ing surgery and an even longer re­cov­ery. All of 10 months went by be­fore Lady Le Fay fi­nally made it back to the races, fin­ish­ing third, then fourth, be­fore her break­through win.

Lady Le Fay is owned by Waikato Stud em­ployee Michael Hughes, who paid $25,000 for her at the 2012 Karaka year­ling sales and then took a group of fam­ily and friends into a rac­ing part­ner­ship.

‘‘I re­ally liked her blood­lines and bought her as a long-term brood­mare prospect, but after a few test­ing times I was think­ing she might be­ing go­ing to stud with­out a win be­side her name,’’ says Michael.

‘‘She’s come good though and we’re hav­ing a lot of fun with her.’’

The grem­lins had some fun with my copy on this page late last month re­fer­ring to the come­back from se­ri­ous leg frac­tures by jockey Cameron Lam­mas.

As if to cor­rect any con­fu­sion in the anoma­lous re­port, Cameron has con­tin­ued to kick home the win­ners, with three at last week’s lo­cal meet­ing, a dou­ble at Dar­gav­ille on Fri­day and one more at Tau­ranga tak­ing his come­back tally to nine wins from 56 rides.

Another lo­cally based jockey, Wex­ford Sta­bles ap­pren­tice Bren­dan Hut­ton, is also mak­ing up for lost time caused by a com­pli­cated an­kle frac­ture.

After rid­ing 18 win­ners in his first sea­son the Ir­ish-born 21-year-old missed all of last term, but is back in ac­tion with a dou­ble at Dar­gav­ille and another on long­shot Undis­cov­ered the fol­low­ing day at Tau­ranga.


IM­PRES­SIVE PER­FOR­MANCE: Lady Le Fay, pic­tured in an ear­lier win, stamped her stay­ing cre­den­tials with an im­pres­sive per­for­mance at Tau­ranga on Satur­day.

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