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Il Quello VeloceJ Swap Contractors Matamata Breeder’s Stakes a Race of Good Fortune

Saturday’s Group 2 Swap Contractors Matamata Breeder’s Stakes has seen the farm enjoy a wonderful run in the race over the years, with a total of three runners having lined up in the race since 1999 for two winners (Catamarca & Lady Royale) and a second placegetter in Il Quello Veloce.

Catamarca went into the 1999 edition of the Breeder’s Stakes at just her third career start - after winning her first two at Ellerslie and Te Rapa – and led throughout for Opie Bosson to remain unbeaten for trainer Stephen Autridge and when she took out the Group 2 feature, defeating the smart pair of Tristachine and Superjet, Catamarca went on to win five of her ten starts including the Lion Brown Plate and Counties Bowl as a three-year-old.

Il Quello Veloce was the next Westbury graduate to line up in the (1998) Breeder’s Stakes and started favourite after being badly hampered in the Karaka Million at her previous start. Trained on the track by John Sargent, Il Quello Veloce finished second to Te Akau Coup before posting a Group 1 placing to Fully Fledged and Raid in the Diamond Stakes before scoring an emphatic win in the Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes and cementing her position as the Champion 2YO for the 2007-08 season. Il Quello Veloce went on to win the Manawatu Challenge Stakes Gr.3 as a 3YO but is best remembered for her narrow defeat to Tell a Tale in the $1,000,000 NZ 2000 Guineas.

The third of the farm’s graduates to run in the Matamata Breeder’s Stakes occurred in 2014 when the Richard Collett trained Lady Royale, raced by Mr Arthur Avis who passed away recently, took out the race under Sam Spratt. Purchased by Robert Dawe, Lady Royale had won impressively at Te Rapa at her last start and had shown a liking for racing left-handed, and went into the Group 2 feature as the third elect behind favourite Steel Rose and the Te Akau trained Flaming.

Lady Royale began well and sat outside the leader Steel Rose before going for a strong win ahead of the favourite with Silk Belt finishing third ahead of Platinum Balos. To watch a replay of Lady Royale’s win, click on the link below.

The farm has no representatives in this year’s running of the prestigious event for the two-year-old fillies but the race is sure to unearth another quality filly in 2018.

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