Great sea­son for rac­ing part­ner­ship

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - DEN­NIS RYAN

‘‘When I joined Te Akau three years ago I had no idea where it would take me’’

A sea­son of high­lights for pre­mier­ship-win­ning Te Akau part­ners Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards have capped a phe­nom­e­nal sea­son in part­ner­ship by claim­ing the 2015-16 na­tional train­ers’ pre­mier­ship.

Their quest for the cov­eted ti­tle be­gan last Au­gust, just three months after they had been ap­pointed by Te Akau Rac­ing prin­ci­pal David El­lis to head the op­er­a­tion’s New Zealand base at Mata­mata.

For Stephen it meant a re­turn to his for­mer suc­cess­ful as­so­ci­a­tion with Te Akau in the 1990s, while 25-year- old Jamie was be­ing pro­moted from sta­ble rac­ing man­ager to fully fledged trainer.

The mix proved to be in­spi­ra­tional as the pair be­gan to com­pile the win­ners and they can look back with huge sat­is­fac­tion at top­ping a cen­tury with 104 wins.

Ob­vi­ous high­lights were their four Group One wins - the New Zealand 1000 and 2000 Guineas with Risque and Xtrav­a­gant, the NRM Sprint also with Xtrav­a­gant, and the Di­a­mond Stakes with Heroic Valour.

The Autridge-Richards pre­mier­ship win is the first by a Mata­mata sta­ble since John Sar­gent pre­pared 111 win­ners four years ago and sits neatly along­side the five pre­mier­ships achieved by Mark Walker when he headed the Te Akau op­er­a­tion last decade be­fore set­ting up a sta­ble in Sin­ga­pore.

The do­mes­tic ti­tle also com­pletes a unique in­ter­na­tional dou­ble for Te Akau, Mark hav­ing claimed his first Sin­ga­pore pre­mier­ship in the 2015 calendar year sea­son.

‘‘Group Ones are never easy, so to get four of them, top the cen­tury in over­all wins and now be able to claim the pre­mier­ship on top of Mark’s ti­tle - it could hardly be more sat­is­fy­ing than that,’’ said Stephen as he re­flected on Te Akau’s sea­son of achieve­ments.

For Jamie it’s the stuff of dreams. ‘‘When I joined Te Akau three years ago I had no idea where it would take me,’’ he said.

‘‘But thanks to ev­ery­one in the or­gan­i­sa­tion and all the hard work that goes on be­hind the scenes, here we are.’’

Mata­mata’s other pre­mier­ship win­ner from the just com­pleted sea­son is 20-year-old Shaun McKay, who claimed the ap­pren­tice jock­eys’ ti­tle with 70 wins.

His last win for the sea­son came at Awa­puni last Thurs­day.

Dual Group One win­ner Xtrav­a­gant was the star act for Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.