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El Roca-7 copyDouble Stakes for El Roca 

Tomorrow is set to be an exciting day for the El Roca fan base with two very strong chances to sire his first stakes winner (or two with a bit of luck) at Matamata Racing Club. Having their first black-type assignments is the Shaune Ritchie trained Bella Mente who is entered in the Group 2 Matamata Breeders Stakes and in the Group 3 Waikato Stud Slipper is Danica Guy’s Moeraki.

Bella Mente consolidated her place in the Group 2 feature after a convincing win at Matamata three weeks ago and her first outing also at Matamata saw her come home for a third place. The El Roca filly will need to do a bit of work to put herself in the race after drawing barrier 10 of 11 but with the rain forecast for tomorrow an outside draw could work in her favour and she has a good hand on the reins with leading rider Samantha Collett who rode her in her first start. 

Having had his first start earlier this month Moeraki impressed being the first to jump and hold the lead right up until he was surpassed in the final stages where he finished second to Te Akau’s Harlow. The Karaka Million registered two-year-old colt will have his tilt at the Group 3 Waikato Stud Slipper from a handy barrier 2 amongst a small field of six runners with Cameron Lammas engaged to take the ride.

Both El Roca two-year-old’s have come from Westbury with Moeraki bred by Gerry Harvey out of the mare Go Kate Go, he was purchased by Guy’s Upstage Bloodstock and Parklea Thoroughbreds for $80,000 at the Karaka 2018 Book 1 Sale. Bella Mente was born and raised on the farm with her breeder Marriott Thoroughbreds and the filly is now raced on lease by Marriott Thoroughbreds Ltd, J M Ewen, S J Wilcox, E Smith, P J Thompson, A P Ritchie, W J Bremner, B K Dell, L Heale & W Schoonderwoerd.

Another filly Harvey bred will also contest the Matamata Breeders Stakes tomorrow with the Reliable Man sired two-year-old Aalaalune. Racing on her home track, Aalaalune is trained by Jacob McKay and is owned by Te Keeti Bloodstock Ltd & Mrs V D Gates, having the experience of three races she ran home for second on debut in the Listed Splice Construction 2YO Stakes at Counties.

The Waikato Stud Slipper Stakes will be run as Race 4 at 2.10pm and the Matamata Breeders Stakes is Race 6 at 3.20pm, while the last race of the day is the annual Westbury Waikato Handicap.

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