Un­derthe­moon­light gets it right

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

Four wins from 21 race­day starts might not at first im­pres­sions seem that spe­cial, but any such pre­sump­tion would be sell­ing Un­derthe­moon­light short.

At Tau­ranga last Satur­day the bonny race­mare showed yet again what she’s made of when she ended a run of bad luck with an easy win in the $50,000 Tau­ranga Clas­sic.

Af­ter kick­ing off her lat­est cam­paign with two de­cent plac­ings, Un­derthe­moon­light’s next two starts could only be de­scribed as dis­ap­point­ments. It was no dis­as­ter fin­ish­ing third and then fifth in Listed stakes races at Ro­torua and Wan­ganui, but if things had fallen into place, bet­ter re­sults would have fol­lowed.

Then along came last week­end and ev­ery­thing went right as Un­derthe­moon­light pushed aside the one re­main­ing query, the rain-sod­den track, and left her ri­vals behind by three and half lengths.

‘‘The way things panned out in the Ro­torua race it just didn’t work for her,’’ says part-owner Hamish McQuade, whose wife Karyn trains the mare.

‘‘Then at Wan­ganui it was 1600 me­tres and the in­struc­tions were to go for­ward and take a sit, but we didn’t bank on them run­ning it like it was 1200. She just couldn’t do it.’’

Satur­day’s Tau­ranga Clas­sic was the end game for now and Un­derthe­moon­light is un­likely to be seen again un­til the spring, when she will be set for a re­peat win in the Taranaki Breed­ers’ Stakes at Haw­era in Oc­to­ber.

‘‘Last year we kept her go­ing through the win­ter but she’s done enough for now and can come

‘‘The way things panned out in the Ro­torua race it just didn't work for her.’’

back when the tracks are bet­ter,’’ Hamish added.

‘‘We’ll get to the Taranaki Stakes first and then all go­ing to plan the Auck­land Breed­ers’ Stakes in Novem­ber.’’

Un­derthe­moon­light was rid­den in her week­end win by Cameron Lam­mas, who was on board for the first time since last Au­gust. Cameron’s day had be­gun with a win that meant ev­ery bit as much as Un­derthe­moon­light’s, bring­ing home Kamikaze Rebel, who is trained by his wife Tracey, to win the first race.

Cameron wore a black arm­band in hour of his fa­ther-in­law Evan Parn­well, who had passed away dur­ing the week af­ter a long ill­ness.

‘‘That was good, I think the old boy was help­ing us out a bit,’’ he said af­ter un­sad­dling.

The past two sea­sons have marked a sig­nif­i­cant come­back for 33-year- old Cameron, who racked up 67 wins last sea­son for his best tally since his ap­pren­tice days and has fol­lowed up with another 47 wins this sea­son.

A big part of that turn­around has been his al­most daily trip from his home at the north­ern end of Lake Ro­torua to Mata­mata to ride track­work for Te Akau train­ers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.


nderthe­moon­light (Cameron Lam­mas) races clear of the favourite New York Minute in the Tau­ranga Clas­sic.

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