Amberio's pricked ears are deceptive as she downs Atom Cat by just a head in the Team Wealleans Matamata Cup.
Otaki trainer Karen Zimmerman did it again on her favourite trip away from home when she saddled up Richard Craddock bred, Amberio to win the Team Wealleans Matamata Cup at Matamata today.
Amberio (Ambiance by Faltaat, - Captain Rio) was bred by Matamata based Englishman Richard Craddock. Amberio was foaled, raised and sold as a weanling through the 2008 Brighthill Farm draft at the National Weanling Sales.
This photo was taken behind the scenes when we were trying to get weanling photos for the website. She always had a very determined streak to her... and she just wouldn't smile for the camera!!
The hard-fought win over local hope Atom Cat took Zimmerman’s record in the Listed 1600-metre feature to four wins in the past decade. Her extraordinary run began in 2002 with her hardy performer Rodin and continued with back-to-back wins by King Of Ashford and Bonjour in 2006 and 2007.
Rodin started in the race five times in all, but after winning on the first occasion his best subsequent effort was third in 2003. His last run was when King Of Ashford won three years later.
“From memory my four winners are the only horses I’ve run in this race,” Zimmerman said after Michael Coleman had got Amberio home to beat 2010 Matamata Cup winner Atom Ca by a head. “I’m not sure what it is, just the way it works out having the right horse at this time of year. Whatever the reason, I love coming up here.”
Zimmerman decided that Amberio was her latest prospect when the Captain Rio mare was beaten by Dubai Belle in a photo-finish to the Gr. 3 Ancare Merial Metric Mike at Awapuni last month. That was her fourth placing in as many starts since winning in restricted grade on her home track in June and combined with her trainer’s record in the race, saw her start favourite today.
Coleman was happy to settle Amberio near in the early and let her slide forward to be in a challenging position on the home turn. He got the response he wanted to withstand the persistent and brave Atom Cat, who he could also have ridden today.
Like many members of the Zimmerman team, Amberio is raced by a large number of people after being purchased by her trainer as a $6,000 Karaka weanling from the draft of Brighthill FArm. One member of the partnership that now races the chestnut is Palmerston North identity Gerry Arber, who was also a part-owner of King Of Ashford.
“Gerry asked me to find a Captain Rio colt at the sales but they were all too expensive and I brought home a filly instead,” Zimmerman revealed after today’s win, the fifth of Amberio’s 18-start career. “He was fine about that though and between us we got the syndicate together to race her.”
Zimmerman is now contemplating a start in the Gr. 3 Thompson handicap at Trentham at the end of the month, but will guided by how the mare recovers from the trip north.
“She keeps surprising me, just when I think she’s probably had enough she bounces back,” Zimmerman said. “It will all depend on her, but there’s a good chance she’ll make it to Trentham.”
Main Story Source: The Informant