Fil­lies bid for sum­mer ju­ve­nile fea­tures

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

Pres­tige two-year-old races have be­come the tar­get of a pair of tal­ented lo­cal fil­lies af­ter both made im­pres­sive de­buts on the week­end.

On Fri­day Princess Ri­hanna made the trip south to Otaki worth­while with a first-up win in the $20,000 ju­ve­nile con­test, earn­ing suf­fi­cient stake-money to just about guar­an­tee her place in the $1 mil­lion Karaka Mil­lion at Eller­slie in late Jan­uary.

That race is open to grad­u­ates of the Na­tional Year­ling Sales, where last Jan­uary Princess Ri­hanna was a $24,000 pur­chase by train­ers Lance O’Sullivan and An­drew Scott on be­half of a group of Hong Kong-based clients.

With a win and a sec­ond in two trials, Princess Ri­hanna was well fan­cied for her race­day de­but and in the hands of in-form jockey Craig Grylls she pro­duced a pro­fes­sional per­for­mance to win by nearly two lengths.

‘‘She’s a nat­u­ral race­horse, which is half the bat­tle with twoyear-olds,’’ said co-trainer Lance O’Sullivan.

‘‘The trip and the race­day ex­pe­ri­ence will have done her a lot of good and at this stage the plan is to give her one more start in the Eclipse Stakes at Eller­slie on New Year’s Day and then head straight to the Karaka Mil­lion.’’

Whether Princess Ri­hanna then pro­ceeds to the lo­cal fea­ture, the $100,000 J Swap Con­trac­tors Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes on Fe­bru­ary 25 will be a de­ci­sion for later, but an­other filly with ex­cep­tional cre­den­tials for that race put her hand up at Te Rapa on Sun­day.

The Stephen Autridge-Jamie Richards-trained Gold Fever is none other than a half-sis­ter to last sea­son’s Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes winner Gold Rush and ap­pears to have what it takes to em­u­late her older sib­ling.

Step­ping out for her first race on the week­end, Gold Fever over­came a dif­fi­cult bar­rier draw and sub­se­quent wide trip to race away for an easy win.

Two quiet trials were enough to pre­pare the Sav­abeel filly for her race­day de­but and there’s a lot of im­prove­ment in her.

Al­though bred and reared at Waikato Stud, Gold Fever was sold as a year­ling in Aus­tralia, where she was purchased by Te Akau Rac­ing prin­ci­pal David El­lis for $110,000.

She is there­fore in­el­i­gi­ble for the Karaka Mil­lion, which makes the Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes a nat­u­ral tar­get.

Sassy ‘N’ Smart was an un­lucky runner-up in the same race last sea­son, but Gold Fever has the cre­den­tials to add yet an­other win in Mata­mata’s flag­ship race to Te Akau’s tally.

Gold Fever’s win kept the Autridge-Richards tally tick­ing over nicely as they bid to de­fend their 2015-16 train­ers’ ti­tle.

With a third of the sea­son now be­hind us, the part­ners are po­si­tioned in equal third po­si­tion with 20 wins.

Gra­ham Richard­son’s good sea­son con­tin­ued last week with a brace of wins that have him in fifth equal place on 17 wins, while the O’Sullivan-Scott stable is also in top-10 reck­on­ing with 15 wins and equal ninth spot.

Gold Rush (red cap) won the 2016 Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes and now her half-sis­ter Gold Fever has lodged her bid for a re­peat in Fe­bru­ary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.