It was a case of déjà vu for jockey Jason Waddell when he won the $120,000 Group II Robin, Duke Of Bedford Matamata Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Matamata on Saturday.
Waddell won the event with a heady ride aboard Te Akau Coup (2 B. F. Thorn Park – Beyond The Sunset), in circumstances surrounding the victory that were very similar to his win aboard Naturo (Postponed) in the 2006 running of the event.
Waddell said, “When I won aboard Naturo she had only had one start for a win before the Breeders’ when ridden by Darryl Bradley, drew barrier one and I picked up the ride and won on her, and this filly had one start for one win coming into the race, was also ridden by Darryl in that win, and drew barrier one, the same as Naturo.”
Waddell was referring to Te Akau Coup’s winning debut at Waipukurau with jockey Darryl Bradley aboard.
The win capped a fantastic day for the stable of Matamata based trainer Mark Walker, as he had also prepared Minstrel Court (Danehill Dancer) to win the equivalent event for colts and geldings earlier in the day.
A downgrade in track conditions from an initial read of good, to dead after race one and then to soft, saw most riders scout wide on the track in search of better footing, but Waddell gambled on a run close to the rail in the home straight after travelling midfield on the fence from barrier one, and the shortest way home near rail had Te Akau Coup two lengths clear at the furlong and she maintained a strong gallop to repel the challenge of favourite Il Quello Veloce (Captain Rio) by three quarters of a length.
One and a quarter lengths away in third place was Raid (Pins) who had travelled handy to the pace throughout, with the first three finishing well clear of the their rivals, headed by another Walker trained filly, Bankside Belle (Volksraad), fourth.
The win by Te Akau Coup was richly deserved by his Christchurch based owner Ray Coupland. Coupland is Principal of Couplands Bakeries and has dedicated a lot of time and investment through sponsorship and horse ownership to supporting the New Zealand racing industry.
Originally from Timaru, Coupland ventured into his first business while still a teenager and has had marked success with his entrepreneurial ventures.
A half-sister to Don Garcia (Danehill), bought by David Ellis for $1,050,000 as a yearling, Te Akau Coup was also purchased by Ellis from the 2007 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale from the draft of Pencarrow Stud, but for a far more conservative sum of $150,000.
The Matamata Breeders’ Stakes has always offered terrific residual value for the winner, and it should be no exception for the good bodied and athletic Te Akau Coup.
The Big G