Matamata horses eye carnival features
‘‘Ballymore training partners Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard are also looking further ahead to the Wellington Cup on the middle day at Trentham with Mister Impatience.’’
All roads for the next three weeks will lead to Trentham, where the Wellington Racing Club will conduct its major carnival of the season across the next three Saturdays.
The first Group One race is this weekend’s Levin Classic, for which local three-year-olds Hall Of Fame and Savile Row are the two favourites.
Te Akau colt Hall Of Fame added to the tremendous run of success by progeny of champion stallion Savabeel when he scored a fresh-up win at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, while Ballymore Stables runner Savile Row likewise made a winning return at Ellerslie to underline his previous start second in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas.
Ballymore training partners Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard are also looking further ahead to the Wellington Cup on the middle day at Trentham with Mister Impatience.
The European-bred stayer scored a surprise win in last year’s Trentham two-miler and after undergoing bone-chip surgery has been making steady progress on the comeback trail.
Other leading lights for the Wellington Cup include the McKay stable’s rapidly rising four-year- old Clarify, who destroyed his rivals in the Dunstan Final at Ellerslie and early this week was well up the order at $8 on the TAB’s Wellington Cup market.
The odds in the $250,000 feature were also relatively short about the Te Akau pair Echezeaux and Zambezi Warrior.
Matamata stables will have a big part to play on Wellington Cup day with two of the leading fancies for the Gr. 1 Telegraph in Railway Stakes runner-up Perfect Fit and glamour galloper Xtravagant.
The Pentire colt was in fact the $4 favourite for the Telegraph, confidently supported to find his best form after a disappointing Melbourne spring carnival.
A trial late last month followed by a smart gallop between races at the Ellerslie carnival have been encouraging pointers and no one would disagree that Xtravagant at his best would take a lot of beating in the Trentham sprint.
After this easy win in the Dunstan Stayers’ Final at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, Savabeel gelding Clarify gives Peter and Shaun McKay a strong hand in the Wellington Cup.