Volpe Veloce lives up to her price tag

Matamata Chronicle - - Backyard Banter -

Gra­ham Richard­son’s de­ci­sion to put his head on the block in early 2015 has paid a big div­i­dend.

Volpe Veloce, who cost $240,000 as a Karaka year­ling, is shap­ing as a po­ten­tial star with two wins from as many starts.

On Satur­day at Wan­ganui she trounced good qual­ity op­po­si­tion to win the Listed Castle­town Stakes, fol­low­ing up on an im­pres­sive au­tumn de­but win on her home track.

The daugh­ter of for­mer star Aus­tralian sprinter Foxwedge is now be­ing spo­ken of as a real prospect for ma­jor spring age­group rac­ing.

She is the sec­ond ex­pen­sive year­ling pur­chase by her trainer, af­ter he paid $250,000 for the well­bred filly Pur­cent­age at the 2013 Karaka sale.

‘‘I was sick of be­ing beaten in the bid­ding on year­lings I re­ally liked, so I made the de­ci­sion to go all the way if I felt that strongly,’’ Gra­ham ex­plained. ‘‘I went to $250,000 on Pur­cent­age and she looked like a filly go­ing places when she won her first start as a late two-year- old.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately she got a virus and was re­ally crook and she never came right. We ended up sell­ing her as a brood­mare and she still made $180,000, so it wasn’t all bad.’’

In the mean­time Gra­ham put his hand up for a sec­ond time to se­cure the filly that was to be­come known as Volpe Veloce.

‘‘She was another filly I just had to buy but I had to sweat on it for a while.

‘‘It took me a year to sell all the shares in her, but I ended up putting to­gether a syn­di­cate of peo­ple from New Zealand and Aus­tralia, even one bloke from Hong Kong.

‘‘She’s ob­vi­ously got a lot of abil­ity, much.

‘‘She can have some time out and be back to pre­pare for the spring.

‘‘At this stage she might have a trial to be­gin with and maybe kick off her sea­son in the Gold Trail Stakes at Hast­ings. ‘‘All go­ing to plan her ma­jor spring tar­get will be the 1000 Guineas.’’

Volpe Veloce’s emer­gence co­in­cides with the re­tire­ment of for­mer Richard­son Rac­ing head­liner Queens Rose.

Queens Rose was raced by a part­ner­ship that in­cluded Mata­mata teach­ing cou­ple Brian and Mel Priest and won eight races in her 28-start ca­reer. Bred on the well proven O’Reilly-Pins cross, she is a daugh­ter of the Group Three-win­ning mare Rosetti Bay and will be a valu­able brood­mare.

Satur­day’s big win came on top of a Richard­son tre­ble at last Wed­nes­day’s lo­cal meet­ing, which was also an aus­pi­cious oc­ca­sion for young ap­pren­tice Sam Weather­ley.

Hav­ing just his fourth race­day ride, the 16-year- old gave the big con­tin­gent of fam­ily and friends on hand some­thing to cheer at when he led through­out for an easy win on long­shot Maddee Fae.

Sam, who has the good for­tune to be ap­pren­ticed to one of the best in his pre­vi­ous ca­reer, Lance O’Sul­li­van, comes from a long line of horse­men.

His great-grand­fa­ther, the late Fred Beguely, was one of the most re­spected train­ers of his era, while his grand­fa­ther Dan and fa­ther Dar­ryn were suc­cess­ful jock­eys. I just don’t know how

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