Cambridge Jockey Club Meeting
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
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Talented juvenile Joyfilly has been sold to overseas interests and will do her future racing in Australia in the Waterhouse and Bott stable in Sydney.
Trained at Cambridge by Chris Wood, Joyfilly finished fifth on debut behind smart youngsters Aim Smart and subsequent Group One Sistema Stakes winner Summer Passage.
The daughter of Highly Recommended then finished a close second here at Te Rapa at the beginning of February to Te Akau owned Gold Fever, beaten just under a length.
Joyfilly had to overcome a wide barrier when the two gifted fillies fought out the Group Two Matamata Breeders Stakes two weeks later, with Gold Fever getting a head victory.
Wood then send his charge to the same track the following month breaking maiden ranks by a length and half.
Joyfilly then lined in the Group One Manawatu Sires Produce a fortnight ago and fought on bravely for third to Melody Belle.
"She's a lovely filly with the greatest nature and she tries hard. It's sad to see her go, as she is quite untapped potentially," Wood said.
"I was looking forward to giving her six weeks in the paddock and seeing her develop into a top class filly."
"The news owners have got a bargain," Wood said.
Joyfilly raced for five times for the win and three placings earning over $53,000.
Murray Neal purchased the filly for $10,000 from the 2016 Karaka Festival Yearling Sale and raced her under his Bayline Trust banner in partnership with Wood.
It was the second promising youngster Wood has sold in the past few months after Dark Universe was sold to clients of Chris Waller.
When heavy rain drenched the entire country it was determined that the Te Aroha track would not recover in time for the meeting for by the weekend, forcing the transfer of Te Aroha'sprestigious Group One meeting to Te Rapa on Saturday.
Saturday's meeting was headlined with the last Group One race of the season, the $200,000 New Zealand Breeders Stakes, and the Waikato Racing Club's track staff produced a near perfect track for the occasion.
During the week, Waikato Racing club's general manager, Ken Rutherford had hoped that the Te Rapa surface could get back to a Slow 7 or 8, given the "incredible" amount of rain that has fallen across the North Island.
The Te Rapa track was hit with 110mm of rain in the 24 hours leading up to Wednesday morning's heavy 10 penetrometer reading. More rain fell Wednesday overnight through into Thursday morning.
With midweek meetings cancelled at Waipa and Awapuni, very few would have predicted that the track would get to a Dead5 reading.
Fine weather from Thursday afternoon through to Saturday greatly helped but through hard work by the track staff, the celebrated Te Aroha meeting went ahead with brilliant track conditions.
Often working against mother-nature, track management is a thankless job and easily criticized within the industry if things aren't perfect yet isn't applauded enough when deserved.
Te Rapa track staff include course-manager Neil Treweek, Stuart Cobb, Keith Melville and Damon Anaki.
Treweek will soon pass the reins to Brad Childs.
Cambridge trainers Andrew Forsman and Stephen Marsh chat about their stable representatives for the Te Aroha meeting at Te Rapa this weekend. The two trainers each have two runners in the Group One $200,000 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.
One trainer that won't be complaining with the transfer of Te Aroha's premier meeting to Te Rapa is local trainer David Greene.
The Te Rapa handler has trained 11 winners from 63 starters with a respectable strike rate of 5.73 so far this season, placing him 38th in the Trainers Premiership.
In the feature event, the Group One $200,000 Fiber Fresh Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes, Greene looks to add to his three Group and Listed wins with his runner Rising Shot.
"She faces a very slick field of mares as you would expect in a Group One. Home track advantage is a huge plus for her on Saturday and she's tough, so always a fighters chance. Hard to see anything beating Thee Auld Floozie on current form but you never know; the racing gods work in mysterious ways," Greene said.
In the second race on the card, the $20,000 Towes Insurance Brokers for three-year-olds over 1400 metres, Greene spoke about top-weight Justacanta, winner of two races from his last three starts.
"A very consistent progressive type of horse. It's a nice race for him on Saturday, drawn well and will appreciate 1400m. He seems to handle all track conditions."
In the sixth event, the $25,000 Te Aroha Plumbing And Drainage (Rating 75) over 1400 metres, Greene has Keely Be entered."She went well fresh here three weeks back before falling into a hole with 100m to go off a very hot pace. Should be big improver off that but would need track to improve to be a chance on Saturday," Greene said.
Saturday's premier meeting at te Aroha has been transferred to Te Rapa
The highlight of the fixture will be the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.
Concerns over the Te Aroha course following the abandonment of a meeting there on March 17 resulted in a track inspection and gallops on Monday morning.
Six horses from the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards stable worked together and spread out in the home straight to enable a comprehensive assessment of the likely track condition on race day. The riders involved included senior jockeys Cameron Lammas and Michael McNab.
Visual observations of the gallop showed the track was cutting out and the riders expressed concerns with the consistency of the surface and the extent to which it had cut out.
The track was inspected after the gallop by a group that included McNab, Lammas, Autridge, course manager Graeme Amies, club officials and stipendiary stewards John Oatham, Warwick Robinson and Brady Jones.
The inspection committee deemed that Saturday's meeting should not be run at Te Aroha, with the decision influenced particularly by the inconsistent nature of the track and also by the unfavourable forecast for the area for the next few days.
Nominations for Saturday's meeting at Te Rapa will be taken on Tuesday.
TRAC general manager Jen Evans said that while it was disappointing that Racing Te Aroha's flagship meeting would not be held on its home track, the transfer was the logical decision under the circumstances.