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Gold Rush wins the Matamata Breeders' Stakes

Gold Rush (red/yellow silks) wins the Two J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders' Stakes - photo courtesy of Trish Dunell
Gold Rush (red/yellow silks) wins the Two J Swap Contractors Ltd Matamata Breeders' Stakes - photo courtesy of Trish Dunell

The win by Gold Rush (So You Think- Gold Rocks) in the Group Two J Swap Contractors Limited Matamata Breeders' Stakes may have been a surprise for punters, but not Waikato Stud's Mark Chittick.

Chittick had tipped the horse to Te Akau Racing's David Ellis when Ellis bought that filly's half-sister by Savabeel (AUS) at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale last January.

Ironically it was a Te Akau filly Sassy'N'Smart who was the hot favourite for the event and finished second to Gold Rush. Next year maybe it will be Chittick and Ellis winning the same race as Chittick decided to retain a 25% share in the Savabeel (AUS) half-sister.

Gold Rush was bred by Western Australian couple Geoff and Heather Nicholls from Gold Rocks, a Oratorio(AUS) mare they bred and raced to win four races including the Group Two Karrakatta Plate. She in turn was out of the Luskin Star(AUS) mare Alozie(AUS) who has left two other winners. Her grandam Madam Monet was a Stakes winner of 9 races.

When Gold Rocks retired to stud she was sent to Darley where she was served by Lonhro(AUS) and produced a filly before being served by first season sire So You Think.

"We became friends with Geoff and Heather and they had sent a couple of mares to Savabeel including Scenic Lil and that foal is Sabotage, who ran third for them at the same Matamata meeting. They expressed an interest in sending Gold Rocks to Savabeel, we decided to go in partnership, and the mare arrived in foal to So You Think," stated Chittick.

Gold Rush was sold at the 2015 Premier Sale through the Phoenix Park draft, and was sold to Wexford Stables for $60,000, where she is prepared by Lance O'Sullivan ONZM, and Andrew Scott for a large syndicate of owners.

In winning her first race, the Matamata Breeders' Stakes, Gold Rush became the first winner and Stakes winner for So You Think. That win gave the mare two Stakes winners from two foals, as her first foal Calaverite won two races last season, the Listed Gimcrack Stakes and the Listed St Albans Stakes at Moonee Valley, before running second in the Group Two Royal Randwick Stakes.

Gold Rush debuted at Ellerslie over the Christmas carnival and ran fourth behind O'Rachael. A month later she ran second to Mongolian Falcon, who ran second in the Listed two-year-old colts and geldings race on the same Matamata card, before winning at her third start.

"I thought we may have got more for the Savabeel yearling as she was out of a two-year-old Stakes winner, whose first foal was a two-year-old Stakes winner, but $110,000 was her price. When David Ellis bought her I was happy to retain 25%" said Chittick.

"Now she has left two two-year-old Stakes winners from two foals I am wishing I had retained a bigger share. It was a fabulous result and good to see a Waikato Stud raised foal become So You Think's first winner.

"We are happy to help Darley out wherever we can; they need all the help they can get," he mused with his tongue firmly in his cheek.



Waikato Stud have acquired Gold Rocks and she is currently in foal to Ocean Park. According to Chittick she has a stunning O'Reilly filly foal at foot and that will most certainly be retained by the stud.


- Michelle Saba