Matamata celebrates another landmark season
The Matamata racing community celebrated another landmark season at Thursday night’s 2021-22 Matamata Racing Club awards function, honouring a raft of major winners and the people involved with them.
In the 2021-22 season Matamata-trained horses won 12 of New Zealand’s 20 Group One races as well as another two in Australia, a level of success that translates to intense competition for the 14 trophies on offer at the MRC awards.
Following in the footsteps of her former stablemate and dual Matamata Horse of the Year Melody Belle, outstanding racemare Probabeel defended the Matamata Horse of the Year title she earned in 2020-21, this time with her wins in the Gr. 1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr. 3 Cockram Stakes and Gr. 3 Bellmaine Stakes.
The Cambridge Stud-owned mare also won the MRC Stayer of the Year award, while her breeders Waikato Stud claimed another Breeder of the Year trophy after a season dominated yet again by the progeny of resident champion stallion Savabeel.
In accepting the supreme award on behalf of owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Cambridge Stud spokesperson Cameron Ring acknowledged the various elements that contributed to the outstanding racemare’s career.
“Probabeel is another wonderful example of the horses Waikato Stud produce and all credit to David Ellis for identifying and purchasing her as a yearling, and to Karyn for allowing Brendan and Jo to take ownership.
“Jamie Richards and his team did a fantastic job from the very start to mould her into one of the very best of her generation and now she is a treasured member of the Cambridge Stud broodmare band.
“Probabeel was covered last week by Almanzor and now we’re all looking forward to the next exciting stage in her career.”
The deeds of outstanding sprinter Levante played a big hand in proceedings, her wins in the Gr. 1 Telegraph and BCD Group Sprint earning the Sprinter-Miler award, while her ownership group –Philip and Catherine Brown, Tony and Mary Enting, Mark Tapper and Sandringham Investments – took the Owners’ trophy. As well, the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained mare’s devoted human Megan Winter won the Strapper/Stablehand award.
The Trackwork Rider award went to Te Akau employee Hunter Durrant, who accompanied Probabeel to Australia in her final campaign and is now in charge of Te Akau’s South Island spring team.
MRC Award Winners 2021/22
R.C. Blake Champion 2-Year-Old: Maven Belle
Lindsay Family Champion Apprentice Jockey: Joe Kamaruddin
T.W. Brown Champion Jumper: Tommyra
D.W. Moss Champion Stayer: Probabeel
J.B. Christophers Memorial Strapper/Stablehand: Megan Winter
W.L. Tisch Champion Jockey: Craig Grylls
J McAnnalley Memorial Champion Sprinter/Miler: Levante
D.G.M Benjamin Champion Breeder: Waikato Stud
D.J. O’Sullivan Champion Trainer: Jamie Richards
B.R. Tims Champion Jumps Jockey: Emily Farr
The Patron’s Trackwork Rider: Hunter Durrant
J.C. Tucker Champion 3-Year-Old: Imperatriz
C.C.E. Thompson Champion Owner: Levante Partnership - Philip & Catherine Brown, Tony & Mary Enting, Mark Tapper, Sandringham Investments
2021-22 Matamata Horse of the Year: Probabeel