Abide­withme on song on An­zac Day

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

Te Rapa track.

Un­like Crim­son, whose can­tan­ker­ous be­hav­iour made her a real hand­ful at times, her daugh­ter has been a dream to han­dle.

Her rac­ing ca­reer was only months old when she won the Listed Ray Cou­p­land Stakes at Ash­bur­ton as a spring 3-year-old and she added an­other Listed stakes with victory early last year in the An­niver­sary Hand­i­cap at Tren­tham.

She signed off her 4-year-old sea­son with a mid­field fin­ish be­hind Lau­ren Tate in the Travis Stakes 12 months ago and the progress she has made in the in­terim was ob­vi­ous when she turned the ta­bles on that Taupiri mare last week­end.

In be­tween times, Abide­withme had lined up in nu­mer­ous high grade races, be­gin­ning with a fourth and a fifth in the Group I Makfi Chal­lenge Stakes and Li­va­mol Clas­sic at the Hawke’s Bay spring car­ni­val. Her worst plac­ing this sea­son was when she beat only four ri­vals in the Thorn­don Mile at Tren­tham in Jan­uary, but ac­cord­ing to her trainer it’s been on­wards and up­wards ever since.

‘‘Now that she’s fully ma­ture she has re­ally thrived in the past two or three months,’’ says Bridg­man. ‘‘She weighed 462 ki­los be­fore the Thorn­don and when we weighed her at the end of last week she was 10 ki­los heav­ier.

‘‘That’s af­ter a busy pro­gramme of rac­ing but the beauty with her is that she’s so clean-winded you don’t have to work her hard be­tween races. She hasn’t gal­loped on the track since be­fore the Breed­ers’ Stakes.’’

That un­der­stand­ing of Abide­withme, capped by Satur­day’s win in her third start in as many weeks, says a lot for Bridg­man’s con­fi­dence in mak­ing the right moves with the classy mare, but he’s con­tent to de­flect all the praise to her.

‘‘ We’ve never doubted her abil­ity; it’s just a mat­ter of a race be­ing run truly and hav­ing things fall into place for her,’’ he says. ‘‘That’s how it un­folded at last, the breaks went her way and we saw what she can do.’’

Im­me­di­ately af­ter ca­reer win seven, all par­ties were in agree­ment that an early win­ter spell would fol­low im­me­di­ately, but coowner Sir Pa­trick also al­lowed time to re­flect on what next spring might hold.

A no­table An­zac hol­i­day week­end dou­ble for Mata­mata race­mares was rounded off when the Kris and Paul Shailer- trained Lady Le Fay won the Listed An­zac 1600 Open at Awa­puni on Mon­day.

Com­plet­ing a brief but well planned au­tumn cam­paign, the promis­ing mare stormed home for Michael Cole­man to win the $50,000 race in the style of a horse go­ing places. At her pre­vi­ous start the 4-year-old had scored a freshup win over 1400 me­tres at Te Aroha on Easter week­end and is win­ner of five of her 12 starts.

Ear­lier in the sea­son she had put to­gether three wins in quick suc­ces­sion and is now ex­pected to be put aside with plans to aim her at ma­jor mid­dle-dis­tance races in the new sea­son.

Lady Le Fay is owned by Michael Hughes, for­merly of Palmer­ston North and now a mem­ber of the team at Waikato Stud. He paid $25,000 for her as a Karaka year­ling in 2012 and races her in part­ner­ship with a group of fam­ily and friends.

Photo: NZ RAC­ING DESK

Abide­withme, with jockey Michael McNab stand­ing high in the irons, scores an ap­pro­pri­ate An­zac Day victory in the Travis Stakes at Te Rapa.

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