New Plymouth filly Madonna Mia will be looking to maintain her unbeaten record when stepping out in the $100,000 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Matamata tomorrow.
Madonna Mia justified her favouritism when kicking off he career with a comfortable debut victory over 1100m on her hometrack on February 10 having won her only official trial at Waverley the previous month.
''The tote and my own expectations said she would win first up and she duly obliged,'' her trainer Allan Sharrock said yesterday.
He said he contemplated running Madonna Mia up in the group three Platinum Homes 2YO Classic (1200m) against the colts at New Plymouth last weekend, but decided to wait another week before lining up up again.
Sharrock said Madonna Mia had thrived since her debut victory and was confident of the Red Clubs filly would prove competitive tomorrow.
''Her work has been super and she's tough. I worked her over 1200 metres this morning and I don't normally do that with many two-year-olds, but I did with her. She's done so well.''
Madonna Mia is a half sister by Red Clubs to Suribachi who finished no further back than fourth in eight starts, including two wins, from Sharrock's stable before being sold early this year to continue his career in Perth.
Sharrock is not worried with the prospect of Madonna Mia striking a rain affected track for tomorrow's Group Two assignment. The Matamata track was described as a slow seven yesterday afternoon.
''It's probably an unknown for everyone, like the hot favourite for the race (Silk Pins) doesn't handle the wet apparently so it opens the race right up,'' Sharrock said. ''I've never galloped her on a wet track before, but Suribachi won on a heavy and a slow track and she is a half sister so hopefully it runs in the family and she can get through it okay.''
Madonna Mia will have a change of rider for the Matamata feature for fillies with senior rider Reese Jones taking over the reins from Leith Innes.
Innes was aboard in her New Plymouth success and is heading down to Otaki to partner former Hong Kong galloper Eagle Mountain in the $20,0,000 Haunui Farm Group One Classic (1600m) there.
''I'm happy to have Jonesy on. He knows the track and he's ridden well for me in the past,'' Sharrock said.
Sharrock has split his team tomorrow with Volgus an acceptor in the last and race 10 at Matamata, while stablemate Ballybit travels to Otaki to contest the rating 75 1600m on the card.
Sharrock said Volgus is an unlikely starter if the track conditions don't improve, while Ballybit is another of his runners that would prefer a good track.
Meanwhile, Cambridge trainer Emma-Lee Browne and her co-trainer and father Jeff McVean, will produce two last-start winners in the Breeders' Stakes, with last-start Trentham victor Pouri Chimes to again be ridden by Masa Tanaka and last-start Te Rapa winner Rollout The Carpet to again be ridden by Matt Cameron.
Browne said this week said both trained on well and she was confident they will put up a good show again tomorrow.
- Taranaki Daily News