Matamata trainers Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall head to their local meeting on Saturday with talented yet unassuming filly Bonny Lass in the Group 2 J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders Stakes (1200m).
An impressive debut winner at the course and distance in late January, Richardson is pleased with the progress of the Super Easy filly, who upstaged high-priced yearling colt Noverre when breaking maiden ranks, with that runner enhancing the form by winning comfortably at Whanganui last week.
“She’s a very natural two-year-old. She just gets up and does what you want her to do and she is not silly about it,” Richardson said.
“She has only had the one trial and the one race and has just done everything as a professional.
“She is athletic and is going to be a better three-year-old. She came up quicker and is more of a natural than we thought she would be.
“What we do after this we are not sure yet. We will keep an eye on her physically and see what her shins are like.
“Certainly around the stable she is very quiet and you wouldn’t know she is there half of the time.”
With 11 horses nominated for the banner race of the year at Matamata, Richardson is hoping for a good draw and is proud to have a runner in the feature.
“It is a big thrill to have a horse capable of going to the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes, obviously being from Matamata it is a big thing,” he said.
Raced by the Social Racing Starting Gates Syndicate in conjunction with breeder Sandy Moore, Bonny Lass is likely to have a legion of fans.
The filly, who will be ridden by Craig Grylls, has shown good versatility coming from off speed when winning her only trial, before dictating when successful on raceday.
Richardson will have a further four runners at Matamata with Paisley Park to contest the Listed Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes (2000m), in-form mares La Mia Stella and Rocket Fuel in the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) and Light Brocade in a Rating 65 1200m.
“Paisley Park was a little bit stiff last time and should have run a little bit closer, I can’t split Rocket Fuel and La Mia Stella and Light Brocade has worked up well and will sport blinkers for the first time,” he said.
Meanwhile, Group One winner Tiptronic has recovered well after being galloped on when sixth in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and is on a path to the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 13.
“He’s fine. He has healed up better than I thought. It is nearly 100 percent and he will have a trial next week at Rotorua before he heads to the Bonecrusher,” Richardson said.
The Matamata horseman is also getting a huge kick out of watching Defibrillate, a horse he part-owns, having prepared him to win two of his first three starts, racing in great form for trainer Patrick Payne in Melbourne.
The son of Shocking has won nine of 13 starts, the last four in succession including Saturday’s Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield.
“It is quite incredible actually. I got a massive thrill seeing him win on Saturday, especially because I have a few of my mates in him, as well as Graeme and Linda McInteer who have been with me for years,” Richardson said.
“I bought his mother for them, Our Chickaroonie, as a yearling. They are great people.
“I was at home watching the race with some mates in Matamata and I have never been so nervous. They were taking the piss out of me big time. I am usually cool and calm when I have a Group One runner.
“We are going to the Australian Cup (Group 1, 2000m) with him and we are so happy to have a horse even heading in that direction. Paddy said he has pulled up extremely well and that will be his biggest test at weight for age.”