Another daring ride by Jonathan Riddell provided the impetus for rejuvenated galloper Colorado Star (Alamosa x Elegant Emerald) to claim his second consecutive stakes victory when he cruised home to win the Listed Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
The Mike Breslin-trained seven-year-old had started his career as an outstanding sprinter-miler, winning five of his first 14 starts at distances from 1200m up to 1600m.
A winning drought that started in September 2021 had Breslin wondering if his charge still wanted to be a racehorse, however a change of tactics that saw him lead all the way in the hands of Riddell to win the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) at his most recent start gave Breslin encouragement to keep him going over a middle distance.
Riddell didn’t adopt the same free-going tactics on Saturday however he had the son of Alamosa camped in behind the pacemakers before making a lightning move to assume control with 600m to run.
That proved the winning of the race as the two-length margin he generated kept him clear of his pursuers and he hit the line in determined fashion to down local runner Langkawi with Daytona Red battling on bravely for third.
“The aim was to get him here as I thought he could be very competitive in a race like this,” Breslin said.
“I was a little worried about the wet track, as although he had won a couple on a heavy surfaces, that was when he was a youngster and he did it on natural ability.
“I took a punt that this wasn’t your typical winter surface and he would cope with it, which he did.”
Breslin believes that Colorado Star, who started racing as a late three-year-old, has now worked out what he is at the track to do.
“He may be seven but he is very lightly raced so I think he may just be peaking now,” he said.
“He hasn’t been a fantastic traveller but my foreman told me he has handled the trip today better than he ever has, so the added maturity is probably staring to play in his favour.
“He can go in the paddock for a week now and then I will bring him back for the Awapuni Gold Cup (Gr.2, 2000m) next month.”
Bred by studmaster Bill Gleeson at his Wellfield Lodge, Colorado Star is out of the lightly raced Unbridled’s Song mare Elegant Emerald who won five of her 12 starts and was placed fourth behind Tit For Taat in the 2003 Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m).
Raced by the In To Win Elegant Emerald Syndicate, he has now won seven of his 29 starts, while he has been placed on nine further occasions including finishing third in the 2021 Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton. – NZ Racing Desk