IN Racing
Local trainers vying for stakes success
Matamata trainers Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer are hoping Val Di Zoldo can go one better on her home track this Saturday.
NZ Racing Desk | February 25, 2022
Photo: Trish Dunell

Val Di Zoldo has two runner-up results next to her name and her Matamata trainers Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer are hoping she can go one better on her home track this Saturday.

The daughter of War Decree was beaten by subsequent Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) placegetter Fellini on debut before she repeated the result in the Gr.3 Platinum Homes 2YO Classic (1200m) at Te Rapa earlier this month where she was beaten by Maven Belle.

She will meet the Te Akau runner once again this weekend where they will contest the Gr.2 J Swap Contractors LTD Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

Her trainers have been pleased with her efforts to date and thought she was unlucky in her last start. 

“She has come through the run well, it was a big run,” Autridge said. “She had everything against her when the winner had everything in her favour.”

Val Di Zoldo has drawn barrier three in a competitive field and she could be instore for some lofty targets if she were to perform well.

“The top three or four are really good in this race,” Autridge said.

“Sam Weatherley is on and we are just hoping to get some black-type with her. She is not in the Group Ones but if she won I am not saying we wouldn’t be going.”

Autridge will also be chasing stakes success with Alabama Gold in the Gr.3 Fairview Matamata Slipper (1200m).

“He was a little bit unlucky in the Karaka Million (when eighth),” Autridge said.

“He has trained on really well. Drawing seven out of eight isn’t great, but they will know he is in the race.”

Needle And Thread will also be vying for black-type success in the Listed Matamata Veterinary Services Kaimai Stakes (2000m), but an unsatisfactory performance could spell the end of her racing career.

“Needle And Thread has drawn well (1). She is very fit and the rail is out, which is going to suit those horses on the pace, so that is where she will be,” Autridge said.

“Going on track work she is in it. If it was a disappointing run we would probably send her to stud.”

Autridge is also hoping for a strong showing from Karalino in the Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m).

“1400m is her distance, but she has got to run her best race ever to be winning it,” Autridge said.

“But she has done some nice work and looks great, so she is a chance.”

Val Di Zoldo Stephen Autridge Kris Shailer War Decree Stakes Doubletree By Hilton Karaka Million 2YO Fellini J Swap Contractors LTD Matamata Breeders’ Stakes Sam Weatherley Alabama Gold Fairview Matamata Slipper Needle And Thread Karalino Lisa Chittick Plate