Birthday girls celebrate with wins
Saturday’s Te Rapa race meeting was cause for double celebration by two Matamata trainers, Pam Gerard and Danica Guy.
Both saddled a winner to add an edge to the birthdays they celebrated at the same time.
Danica’s win in the last race at Te Rapa with Galaxy Miss actually came six days after her birthday, but Pam got it spot-on as her birthday on the weekend coincided with the win by Keep On Coming.
She trains the mare in partnership with Melbourne-based Mike Moroney, having taken over as Ballymore Stables’ Matamata training partner when Chad Ormsby decided to take some time to travel the world.
Reports, incidentally, are that the keen bull-rider is having an enjoyable time on the North American rodeo circuit, even showing the local Bronco Billies a thing or two about how to last eight seconds on some of the meanest critters in the West.
Back at home base, Pam Gerard has picked up well on where Chad had left off in May.
The former South Islander, who with her partner Tommy Hazlett came north several years ago to settle in Matamata, prepared eight winners in the final months of last season and Saturday’s was her new season eye-opener.
Keep On Coming, who races in the purple and white colours of long-time stable client Gerard Peterson, hasn’t been the easiest to deal with but a clever ride from apprentice Sam Weatherley did the trick on the weekend for a four and a half- length win.
The margin was only a neck when Galaxy Miss won the next race at Te Rapa and gave Danica her first win of the season, but it was achieved with some authority and confirmed some smart trackwork in the lead-up.
Galaxy Miss, a five-year- old mare by boom sire Tavistock, has now won four of her 10 starts and having returned from a brief letup in capital order, there should be more around the corner for her.
Capella, the stable star at Upstage Bloodstock, is making excellent progress towards her first start of the season, the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes on the opening day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.
The winner last season of the Eight Carat Classic and an unlucky fourth in the New Zealand Derby, Capella made her first public appearance this time round with a bold third at the Te Teko trials earlier in the month.
All going to plan, she’ll line up in all three races of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown.
Although Matamata runners Southern Icon, Underthemoonlight and Willie Cazals were out of luck in the feature Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa, the locals still had a rewarding day with four wins on the nine-race card.
The first race went to the Graham Richardson-trained Babe, an O’Reilly filly who wore the colours of feature race sponsor Waikato Stud in a smart debut win.
Glenn Old produced Real Thirsty for a brave effort under 60 kilograms in a Rating 65 2100 metres.
That completed a double after his previous start win at Hastings and also for jockey Cameron Lammas, his rider as well on that occasion and who won two races at Te Rapa
No rest for birthday girl Pam Gerard as she leads Keep On Coming back to the saddling stalls after winning at Te Rapa on Saturday.