Atishu has been way too good for her rivals in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes, giving James McDonald his first winner on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with a very good book of rides to come.
The Chris Waller-trained Atishu was an eye catcher coming out of the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes on Derby Day and on the quick seven-day back-up, she was backed heavily by punters, jumping as the $2.50 favourite with online bookmakers.
James McDonald had Atishu in the best position possible after the leaders went hard out in front, which left them vulnerable late in the race.
McDonald was swinging off of Atishu on the turn and she let down very nicely to put away the Matriarch Stakes field by two-lengths.
2022 Matriarch Stakes Replay
Chris Waller brought up a race-to-race double with the win of Atishu after his win in the previous race with Soulcombe.
“She's always been a bit unlucky and has threatened to win a decent one.”
Waller explained post-race that this would have been one his mares better wins for her career, while lamenting the fact that she seems to always find a bit of bad luck in her races.
“Everything's sort of gone wrong with her over the last 18 months and even last Saturday she didn't have a lot of luck in the Group 1.
“She has won over 2000 metres before over in New Zealand, and we finally got her up to that today and she certainly appreciated it.”
James McDonald has ridden his eigth winner for the Melbourne Cup Carnival and he will only need two more to equal his 10 from last year and three to better it.
“She was building to that solid performance. Her run had put the writing on the wall last start and backing up, 2000 (metres) and by Savabeel, what more could you ask for.”
McDonald was very happy to get this win on Atishu after her big run last start in the Empire Rose Stakes.
“She travelled beautifully into the race and she felt like the winner a long way from home and she would have looked like it too.”