Consolation for loss of Mata­mata Cup

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

As far as Karyn and Hamish McQuade are con­cerned, one out of two wasn’t a bad re­sult on a week­end that, at least on the lo­cal scene, had been wrecked by the weather.

The McQuades had two fea­ture race run­ners en­gaged in ma­jor races be­tween the lo­cal scene and at Haw­era.

Kin­dale­ica was the sta­ble hope in the $50,000 Team Weal­leans Mata­mata Cup, while Un­derthe­moon­light was head­ing south for the $80,000 Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breed­ers’ Stakes.

Hopes that Kin­dale­ica might go one bet­ter than his close sec­ond in last year’s Mata­mata Cup were thwarted by the weather.

On Fri­day the pro­longed wet spell left Mata­mata Rac­ing Club of­fi­cials with no op­tion but to can­cel their sec­ond big­gest race­day of the sea­son.

All was not lost for the McQuades, how­ever, as Un­derthe­moon­light made the most of her op­por­tu­nity with an eight-length win in the big fil­lies’ and mares’ race at Haw­era.

De­spite a record of just two wins from 14 starts, she was one of the lead­ing prospects due mainly to a form­line that also in­cluded five sec­ond plac­ings and a num­ber of per­for­mances that sug­gested she was well up to the strong op­po­si­tion.

One of Un­derthe­moon­light’s un­luck­i­est runs was her close fourth in the $100,000 Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa in Au­gust, when she was blocked all the way up the straight and should have fin­ished at least sec­ond.

This time there were no such is­sues as Awa­puni ap­pren­tice Ti­mothy John­son was pre­sented with a sa­loon pas­sage while other run­ners went wide on the home turn and the lit­tle bay mare scooted through to score by six lengths.

Slice Of Class did best of the oth­ers, while an­other from Mata­mata, the Karen Furs­don-trained Rock­n­rolla, made a big run from the rear to fin­ish third.

The McQuades also bred Un­derthe­moon­light, putting their O’Reilly mare Mid­night Dip to El Her­mano, an un­raced son of Pins and a brother to the Cox Plate win­ner El Se­gundo, both of which were bred at the Brown fam­ily’s An­croft Stud.

Now that Un­derthe­moon­light has made her black-type break­through, she may get the chance to add an­other this Satur­day in the Gr. 3 Lion Red Plate at Ro­torua.

‘‘We had in­tended turn­ing her out af­ter Haw­era but with the weather like it is and the way she’s come through the week­end, we might just give her one more,’’ Karyn McQuade said. ’’It was a pity to miss the Mata­mata Cup with Kin­dale­ica, but an­other race, the Ro­torua Plate, looks the obvi- ous next start for him.’’

The de­ci­sion late Fri­day to aban­don the Mata­mata Cup meet­ing was sadly un­avoid­able af­ter con­tin­ual rain – no less than 130mms over the pre­ced­ing 12 days – had drenched the course. Iron­i­cally, race­day it­self was the first day in two and a half weeks that no rain fell, but the dam­age had been done.

SUPPLIED

Un­derthe­moon­light races away with the Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breed­ers’ Stakes at Haw­era on Satur­day

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