Luck deserts Matamata horses in Hastings
Little went right for the Matamata contingent in the Tarzino Trophy, the first Group One feature of the new season at Hastings last weekend.
Foxbridge Plate winner Underthemoonlight did best of the quartet, hitting the line late for third after a chequered run back in the field.
In desperation her rider Cameron Lammas threw caution to the wind as the field swung for home when he had a horse full of running underneath him and no gaps ahead.
Pulling on the right rein, he took the line of two rivals and the concertina effect impacted on another Matamata runner, Gingernuts, who picked himself up from being shunted sideways to finish fifth. Next across the line was Volpe Veloce, sticking to her task despite being pushed around in ground that was much wetter than she’s best on.
Underthemoonlight is now likely to be freshened with a view to defending her title in the Gr. 3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes at Hawera in October, while Volpe Veloce and Gingernuts will return to Hastings in two weeks’ time for the Gr. 1 Windsor Park Plate.
Gingernuts has the Caulfield Cup on his spring schedule and a decision will be made after his next start whether to remain for the Gr. 1 Livamol Classic or head straight to Melbourne.
The Tarzino Trophy marked the end of the road for Perfect Fit, who worked to get across to lead from her wide draw but had nothing to offer at the business end.
On top of a below-par run in the Foxbridge Plate two weeks earlier, that effort was enough to make the decision to retire the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Group One winner to stud. She is now part-owned in Australia and will cross the Tasman to be mated with high profile stallion Exceed And Excel.