Ric­car­ton clas­sic looms for Te Akau

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

Yet an­other vic­tory in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas looms for the po­tent Te Akau Rac­ing team after Hall Of Fame lodged his bid with an im­pres­sive dress re­hearsal at Ric­car­ton on Satur­day.

Be­gin­ning with King’s Chapel in 2003, Te Akau horses have won the open three-year-old clas­sic of the sea­son five times.

Darci Brahma scored in 2005, Tell A Tale in 2008, Rock ‘N’ Pop in 2011 and last year Xtrav­a­gant eclipsed them all with his eightlength blitz.

Xtrav­a­gant was also the first Group One win­ner for the Te Akau pair­ing of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, who made it a dou­ble just a week later with Risque in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

The fo­cus this year is on the 2000 Guineas on Satur­day week, when Hall Of Fame and his sta­ble­mate Heroic Valour will carry the tan­ger­ine and blue colours.

Just which of the pair sta­ble rider Mathew Cameron will ride had yet to be de­clared when this ar­ti­cle went to press, but after see­ing Hall Of Fame deal to his ri­vals last Satur­day that colt must be his pref­er­ence.

His five-length Zac­into Stakes win eas­ing up was strong ev­i­dence that he will be right in the zone when it comes to the big one over the same 1600 me­tres on Satur­day week.

There was lit­tle wrong with Heroic Valour’s sec­ond plac­ing over 1400 me­tres at Ash­bur­ton 10 days ago, but Hall Of Fame’s Ric­car­ton record of two wins from as many starts is an ideal lead-in to the 2000 Guineas.

‘‘It’s hard to know how good the horses be­hind him are, but he did win well and he’s got a very good form­line go­ing into the 2000 Guineas,’’ Jamie Richards said.

‘‘It’s up to Matt which one of them he rides, but ei­ther way we’re happy to have very good prospects to col­lect an­other clas­sic for Te Akau.’’

Hall Of Fame opened a big day for Waikato Stud stal­lion Sav­abeel, whose daugh­ter Cold­play won in the stud colours at Eller­slie and over in Melbourne Nurse Kitchen added her name to the cham­pion sire’s list of fea­ture winners when she won the Gr. 2 Moonee Val­ley Clas­sic.

There’s quite a story be­hind Nurse Kitchen, who was bred by for­mer cham­pion Melbourne trainer Peter Moody and is now raced by his wife Sarah.

Back in the spring of 2012 Nurse Kitchen’s dam Fly­ing Monty had lost a foal dur­ing a dif­fi­cult birth at Waikato Stud and her own life was then at risk due to sci­atic nerve dam­age she had suf­fered dur­ing the pro­tracted labour.

Re­al­is­ing the mare was in dire straits, Waikato Stud owner Mark Chittick con­tacted J Swap Con­trac­tors to see if a lift­ing ma­chine might be avail­able to as­sist Fly­ing Monty.

A Highab loader was de­liv­ered to the stud and a makeshift sling was used to raise the mare off the ground.

Over the next few hours Fly­ing Monty was able to re­gain some use of her hind legs and even­tu­ally she made a full re­cov­ery.

‘‘It was a great bit of team­work with some valu­able out­side help which saved the day,’’ says Mark.

‘‘In fact the mare made such a good re­cov­ery that she was able to be mated with Sav­abeel in early Novem­ber and would you be­lieve it, Nurse Kitchen is the result.’’


Hall Of Fame con­firms his New Zealand 2000 Guineas bid with an easy win for Mathew Cameron at Ric­car­ton on Satur­day.

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