Filly gets it with Breeder’s Stakes

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

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.

NZ RAC­ING DESK

Gold Fever (Opie Bos­son) fights off Joy­filly to win the J Swap Con­trac­tors Mata­mata Breed­ers??? Stakes.

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