Welling­ton Cup day not quite per­fect

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - DEN­NIS RYAN

Mata­mata run­ners were un­able to add to the pre­vi­ous week­end’s Group One vic­tory by Hall Of Fame at the Tren­tham car­ni­val, but it wasn’t through want of try­ing.

Lo­cal race­mares Per­fect Fit and Per­fect Start, who are con­nected only by name, both fin­ished third in their fea­ture race as­sign­ments when things didn’t ex­actly go their way.

Per­fect Fit, run­ner-up in the Rail­way at Eller­slie on New Year’s Day, was the favourite to go one bet­ter in the sec­ond leg of the big sum­mer sprint dou­ble but was lit­er­ally on the back foot as soon as the gates opened.

She can be edgy in the bar­rier and this time she half-reared and missed the start slightly.

That negated any ad­van­tage of an in­side draw and left Per­fect Fit back past mid­field.

The gaps did ap­pear in the home straight, but horses out wide, namely South Is­lan­der Sig­nify and Rail­way win­ner Start Won­der­ing, had greater mo­men­tum as they fought out the fin­ish with just a nose be­tween them.

Per­fect Fit hit the line just half a length be­hind in third place, a very god run in the cir­cum­stances.

Train­ers Ken and Bev Kelso will now aim her at the Gr. 1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa next month, when she will en­joy the step up to 1400 me­tres as well as the weight­for- age con­di­tions.

The Auck­land Cup is the next ma­jor tar­get for the hardy Wayne Hil­lis-trained stayer Per­fect Start, who added a third plac­ing in the Welling­ton Cup to her sec­ond in the New Zealand Cup back in Novem­ber.

In that first 3200-me­tre race on the fea­ture stay­ing cal­en­dar Per­fect Start has any­thing but per­fect luck and it was the same again in the Tren­tham two-miler on Satur­day.

That didn’t stop her from try­ing her heart out when oth­ers were be­gin­ning to flag and went down by less than a length to the Awa­puni gal­loper Savaria and Jacksstar.

Per­fect Start apart, there was a real Mata­mata flavour to the re­sult, with Savaria a daugh­ter of cham­pion Waikato Stud stal­lion Sav­abeel and run­ner-up Jacksstar rid­den by lo­cal jockey Cameron Lam­mas.

Mata­mata had a strong hand in the Welling­ton Cup, with last year’s win­ner Mis­ter Im­pa­tience fight­ing well for fifth af­ter be­ing in con­tention from the start and the young Pen­tire geld­ing Zam­bezi War­rior hint­ing at his fu­ture with a re­spectable sixth.

All three lo­cal gal­lop­ers are en­tered for the $500,000 Auck­land Cup at Eller­slie in March.

Eller­slie will be also the ma­jor north­ern fo­cus this week­end as a strong team form the Mata­mata train­ing cen­tre make their bid for the big stakes on of­fer at the Karaka Mil­lion meet­ing.

The field for the $1 mil­lion twoyear- old race will in­clude the Te Akau run­ner Melody Belle and Wex­ford Sta­bles’ Princess Ri­hanna.

Per­haps the strong­est hand for the lo­cals will be in the $250,000 Karaka 3YO Mile, where un­beaten filly Volpe Ve­loce and star two-year- old Heroic Val­our will come up against the highly rated Cam­bridge geld­ing Sa­cred Elixir.

TR­ISH DUNNELL

Per­fect Start (far side) comes up ever so short in the Welling­ton Cup for third be­hind the Awa­puni pair Savaria (mid­dle) and Jacksstar.

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