Lady of­fers hope of lo­cal win

Matamata Chronicle - - Breeders’ Stakes -

trained Bayremah (1995) and Max­am­ore (1997), while Mark Walker scored back-to-back vic­to­ries with Te Akau Coup and Te Akau Rose in 2008 and 2009.

Now un­der the man­age­ment of Ja­son Bridg­man, Te Akau will again be vy­ing to have its tan­ger­ine and blue colours tak­ing pride of place on the bird­cage jockey man­nequin when the highly re­garded filly Spe­cial Mem­o­ries lines up on Satur­day.

Two starts for a de­but sec­ond and a win have been a very good in­tro­duc­tion for the daugh­ter of cham­pion stal­lion Fast­net Rock, which cost her own­ers Carol Mar­shall and Nessie Paykel $400,000 at last year’s Karaka sales. Hav­ing been set for her home track fea­ture, she is now poised to live up to her rat­ing.

‘‘We de­cided against run­ning her in the Karaka Mil­lion as we felt she was a filly who just needed that ex­tra bit of time, but I’m very happy with her go­ing into the week­end,’’ says the filly’s trainer. ‘‘She will have learnt a lot from her two starts to date and her work last Satur­day morn­ing was ex­cel­lent.’’ Bridg­man has an un­der­stand­able de­sire to add his own name to the Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes roll of hon­our, hav­ing sad­dled up just one starter to date, last year’s un­placed run­ner Flam­ing.

‘‘The Breed­ers’ Stakes is a race ev­ery Mata­mata trainer wants to win, so yes, that would be spe­cial for me per­son­ally,’’ he says. Ri­val trainer An­drew Scott has tasted Breed­ers’ Stakes suc­cess twice, the first in 2003 with Katana when in part­ner­ship with Mike Moroney and three years later with Satinka fol­low­ing his move to Wex­ford Sta­bles. Eight years, he fig­ures, is long enough to wait for his next and be­lieves that in Strata Lady, he and Lance O’Sul­li­van have the right horse.

‘‘She’s a smart filly as she showed when she won on de­but and we’re very happy with her go­ing into the race,’’ he says. ’

The vis­it­ing con­tin­gent is ex­pected to be strong again, with last sea­son’s cham­pion trainer Lisa Latta send­ing Plat­inum Wit­ness north from Awa­puni and Cam­bridge trainer Stephen Marsh plan­ning to back up last Fri­day’s Te Aroha win­ner Na­hema, while from South Auck­land Stephen McKee will have re­cent Te Rapa win­ner Daz­zling Lady and last year’s win­ning trainer Richard Col­lett will try for a re­peat with his best ju­ve­nile filly Un­tamed Di­a­mond. She is part-owned by nona­ge­nar­ian Arthur Avis, who was such a popular win­ner of last year’s Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes with Lady Royale and is also ex­pected to have his Karaka Mil­lion run­ner-up Selfie lining up in Satur­day’s $50,000 Reid & Har­ri­son Slipper.

Mata­mata’s big race­day of the year will draw the lo­cal com­mu­nity, but two who will be sorely missed are for­mer vet Rob Moor­head, whose sud­den death was re­ported on this page last week, and popular horse­man Hay­den Allen, who also died sud­denly early last week, just days af­ter his 40th birth­day.

Over a decade Allen was fore­man for John Sar­gent be­fore be­com­ing his train­ing part­ner in 2013 and man­ag­ing the lo­cal sta­ble while sar­gent re­lo­cated to Syd­ney.

Dur­ing that pe­riod Allen was able to take much of the credit for the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks win at Tren­tham last March by Miss Moss­man. Fol­low­ing the clo­sure of the Sar­gent sta­ble, he joined the rapidly de­vel­op­ing lo­cal nurs­ery Valachi Downs and was part of the team when­the stud’s Karaka draft was sold.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

WELL FAN­CIED: Strata Lady and Craig Grylls com­bined for a de­but win at Awa­puni in De­cem­ber and will be well fan­cied for a re­peat in Satur­day’s J Swap Con­trac­tors Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.