First time lucky for McVean family?

The Cambridge training partnership of Jeff McVean and his daughter, Emma-Lee Browne, is hoping its a case of first time lucky in the Group II J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes at Matamata on Saturday.

The stable has had Group I success in the New Zealand Derby with Leica Guv and in the New Zealand Oaks with Jungle Rocket and it has a two-pronged attack on the two-year-old feature. The hopes rest on Pouri Chimes and Rollout The Carpet, who are two of the seven winners in the $100,000 event.

“We’ve never had a runner in the race before and it’s quite exciting having two starting,” said McVean. “They’re both good chances, too. They could both be in the money.”

The pair clashed once and that was in Pouri Chimes’ sole raceday appearance when she won by a long neck at Trentham with Rollout The Carpet fighting doggedly for second. Beforehand Pouri Chimes, a daughter of
Occidental Tourist, had been a comfortable winner at the Te Awamutu trials.

“She goes well and her work this morning was very good,” said McVean. “She’s owned by a couple of locals, David and Pip Fullerton, and she’s their first horse. They’ve also got a share in one of our showjumpers.”

The Fullertons were introduced to racehorse ownership through Henk Smit, owner of Paxton Park and the breeder of Pouri Chimes.

Rollout The Carpet, a Holy Roman Emperor filly, has had more experience than her stablemate, having raced three times for a win and a second. She raced greenly on debut then followed up her second to Pouri Chimes with a solid win over 1200 metres at Te Rapa.

“James McDonald rode her in her trial before she raced and he was impressed by her,” said McVean. “He felt she would stand up to a two-year-old preparation. She looks as though she will go over more ground than Pouri Chimes.”

Rollout The Carpet won that trial and has been ridden in each of her raceday starts by Matt Cameron, who will again take the mount on Saturday. Masa Tanaka will ride Pouri Chimes after winning on her at Trentham.

Though McVean is still part of the training partnership he gives full credit to his daughter, Emma-Lee and her husband, David Browne. “They’re the ones who go to the track every morning and do all the work,” said McVean. “They deserve all the credit.”