Filly gets it with Breeder’s Stakes
Everything went to plan for Team Te Akau in Matamata’s flagship race when Gold Fever came out on top in an exciting contest for the Gr. 2 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.
Lining up as a last-start winner and primed to perfection by trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, Gold Fever made the most of a superb Opie Bosson ride to snare the winner’s share of the $100,000 stake by a head from the brave Cambridge filly Joyfilly.
Midway through the 1200-metre race Gold Fever was some eight lengths off the breakneck pace being set by Santuzza and Princess Rihanna, but the man on top wasn’t panicking.
‘‘I hadn’t intended being that far back but she got a check at the start and as it turned out it didn’t matter,’’ Opie said afterwards.
‘‘They were going that hard up front I knew they had to come back to us. She’s a tough little thing, a real racehorse, and she kept pulling it out when the other filly came at her the last part.’’
Gold Fever’s win was a case of history repeating itself in more ways than one.
Stephen Autridge and Opie Bosson combined for their first Matamata Breeders’ Stakes win with Catamarca back in 1999, when Opie was an 18-year- old apprenticed to the trainer who is also his godfather.
At that stage Stephen had already trained two winners of the big event, Bayremah in 1995 and Maxamore in 1997, while Opie took his second Breeders’ Stakes on Anabandana in 2011.
The most notable coincidence about Gold Fever’s weekend victory was that it came on the anniversary of her half-sister Gold Strike’s win 12 months earlier.
Siblings winning the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes is not unique – 1981 winner Tudor Light and Our Tristalight in 1992 were daughters of Tudor Light – but the occurrence in consecutive years is definitely unique.
The pair’s dam Gold Rocks is now a member of the Waikato Stud broodmare band, where she was mated with the resident champion stallion Savabeel to produce Gold Fever.
The black filly was offered by Waikato Stud at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where she was an astute A$110,000 purchase by Te Akau principal David Ellis. Weeks later she was worth a whole lot more when her older half-sister won the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes.
Gold Fever is the second major juvenile winner this year for Te Akau alongside Melody Belle’s Karaka Million victory, and the stablemates are now set to clash in the first Group One two-yearold race of the season, the Sistema (Diamond) Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday week.
Gold Fever (Opie Bosson) fights off Joyfilly to win the J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders??? Stakes.