Winning joy on cards

Joyfilly (inside) fighting tenaciously when going down narrowly to Gold Fever in the Gr.2 J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes last month.

Joyfilly (inside) fighting tenaciously when going down narrowly to Gold Fever in the Gr.2 J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes last month.

Smart juvenile Joyfilly will warm up for a Group One challenge with an appearance at Matamata tomorrow.

The Chris Wood-trained youngster will enjoy a temporary drop back in class when she starts in the Retox Sports Bar & Tokoroa Cosmopolitan Club 1200.

In her most recent outing, Joyfilly finished runner-up on the course in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes behind Gold Fever.

“It will be a heavy track so we’ll find out if she handles it,” said Wood. “I want to get her to the Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni so she needs a run.

“She hasn’t done anything wrong and she’s up to the best, certainly among the fillies that have been going around.”

Joyfilly finished fifth on debut before she was second at Te Rapa ahead of her black-type placing.

“She’s been a bit of a work in progress,” said Wood. “She showed her natural ability early on and it’s just taken a while to click on mentally.

“There’s been a couple of good offers for her and I own a portion of her with Murray Neal and he doesn’t want to sell so I’m happy to have her.”

Neal has been to the fore in recent seasons as the trainer of the now-retired The Filly, the winner of 10 races including the Gr.3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes.

– NZ Racing Desk.