Locals make the most of Stakes day
‘‘The result was the easiest win of the day in the New World Matamata 1400’’
Gold Fever stole the show at Matamata on Saturday, but there was plenty to like about the performances of other locallytrained gallopers on the Breeders’ Stakes support programme.
Fellow two-year-old Summer Passage was all class in his Reid & Harrison Slipper win, taking the race to his rivals and never looking like being headed.
Ever since Lance O’Sullivan signed for the handsome Australian-bred colt for A$800,000 at last year’s Sydney Easter Yearling Sale, high hopes were held that he would live up to his price tag.
On debut a month ago little went right on the way to finishing second, but on Saturday his rider Craig Grylls made the most of an inside gate to set the pace and hold out the late charge of Gold Fever’s stablemate Summer Mon- soon.
The Gr. 1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday week is next on Summer Passage’s agenda, and if he races up to expectations the Hong Kong-owned colt could be on his way to Sydney for the A$1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes in early April.
A smart field of three-yearolds lined up in Saturday’s Vadamos at Rich Hill 1400 and in a thrilling finish, victory went to the Graham Richardson-trained O’Reilly filly Babe from Everbrave and the winner’s stablemate Secret Stash.
Ballymore Stables partners Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard, produced the winner of Saturday’s opening race, the Valachi Downs 1600, with Savabeel gelding Ali Baba, then it was Jim Collett’s turn to leg up his apprentice Tegan Newman for her first raceday ride on fresh-up stable runner Massofdash.
The result was the easiest win of the day in the New World Matamata 1400 and an enthusiastic reception for the 21-year- old jockey as she brought her memorable winner back to the birdcage.
A big day for Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards was completed by Smashing when she led throughout to take Westbury Waikato open sprint in the hands of Cameron Lammas.
Summer Passage (Craig Grylls) is too tough as he holds out Summer Monsoon in the Reid & Harrison Slipper.