First win for train­ing part­ner­ship

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

‘‘She was bogged down in her first start at Ro­torua and then she led them up in a good field at Avon­dale,’’ Autridge says.

‘‘She blew hard af­ter that race and I re­alised I had left her a bit short on fit­ness, but I knew she was ready when she worked up a treat last Tues­day.’’

Stella Di Paco used her nat­u­ral pace to lead Satur­day’s field and de­fied all chal­lengers to land the prize at odds of 45-to-one.

That wasn’t the first time Autridge had won the Castle­town Stakes, hav­ing taken the race with Chartreuse in 2006.

Now he has his eyes on the fi­nal two-year-old black-type race of the sea­son, the Ry­der Stakes at Otaki in late July.

That tro­phy has his name on it as well, first as a jockey when he part­nered the mighty colt Altitude to victory in 1981 and as a trainer with Cedar Manor in 2004.

Train­ing win­ners is some­thing new for Jamie Richards, but by the same to­ken not en­tirely for­eign.

He grew up in rac­ing as a son for for­mer lead­ing South Is­land jockey Paul Richards, a mem­ber of the elite club of New Zealand jock­eys to ride more than 1000 win­ners and more re­cently a suc­cess­ful trainer.

By his mid- teens Richards re­alised that his size would rule out fol­low­ing in his fa­ther’s foot­steps, but he was still able to mix uni­ver­sity stud­ies with an am­a­teur jockey’s li­cence.

Al­beit from limited op­por­tu­ni­ties, the genes shone through as he put to­gether a com­mend­able record of four wins from just eight am­a­teur race rides.

Jamie’s ter­tiary stud­ies led to a de­gree in mar­ket­ing and ac­count­ing as well as a Thor­ough­bred Breed­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion schol­ar­ship that took to some of the world’s breed­ing and rac­ing hotspots.

Stints with lead­ing lo­cal in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions such as New Zealand Blood­stock and Waikato Stud led to his ap­point­ment last year as Te Akau’s rac­ing manager and his el­e­va­tion to a train­ing part­ner­ship is the sure sign of a young man set to ce­ment his place in rac­ing.

An­other ju­nior mem­ber of the lo­cal ranks to make an im­pact over Queen’s Birth­day Week­end was ap­pren­tice jockey Shaun McKay, who racked up five win­ners across the Wan­ganui and Tauherenikau meet­ings.

McKay’s roll be­gan at Wan­ganui on Satur­day with a win on lo­cally trained Start Won­der­ing, fol­lowed by an­other on Queen Of Navarre, who is trained by his fa­ther Peter and brother Ja­cob, and he com­pleted a tre­ble in the last race of the day on the aptly named Twoznote­nough.

Stay­ing over for Mon­day’s Tauherenikau meet­ing, McKay con­tin­ued his hot run of form with wins in the first two races, only to be de­nied an­other tre­ble when rel­e­gated to sec­ond on his sixth race mount Jimmy Mac. He was handed a five-meet­ing sus­pen­sion af­ter ad­mit­ting a care­less rid­ing charge over the fi­nal stages of that race.

Stella Di Paco digs deep to credit new train­ing part­ners Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards with their first win.

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