Way In to miss Matamata Breeders

Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie has ruled out a start in the Gr. 2 $100,000 J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes for his smart filly Way In.

Though the Matamata event is the country’s richest juvenile fillies event, Ritchie feels it would be wise to bypass the February 22 feature with Way In following her testing run in last Sunday’s Karaka Million. Way In charged home to finish fourth in the $1 million event, four and three-quarter lengths behind the winner, Vespa.

“She had a tough run on Sunday night and she definitely won’t go to the Matamata Breeders,” said Ritchie. “I’m freshening her up and we’ll look at having her back at Ellerslie for the Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes (March 8) and all going well she could then go to Awapuni for the Sires’ Produce Stakes.”

Way In picked up $40,000 for her fourth placing last Sunday and Ritchie was proud of her effort.

“Right from the time she jumped from the barrier I knew we were in deep trouble,” said Ritchie.”She got back and was knocked around a bit then was widest of the turn. I thought she put up a great effort to finish as close as she did.

“She’s a very talented filly and deserves to get a good one.”

Way In has won two of her six starts and defeated the Karaka Million runner-up Riding Shotgun in the lead-up to the country’s richest race and two starts beforehand she was runner-up to Jackofall in the Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes at Pukekohe.

Ritchie’s attention this weekend will be on his TV3 NZ Derby prospect Glorious Lad, a prominent candidate in the Gr. 2 Darci Brahma Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa.

“There will be more improvement to come from him going on to the Derby and I’ve purposely worked him with a couple of soft maidens this week with that in mind,” said Ritchie.

“We dodged a bullet by not going to Wellington for the Levin Classic and running on that hard track. I’d say some of those that went down there could be a bit vulnerable this weekend.”