Jamie Richards Equals All Time Record for Season Wins

Date: 16 Apr 2021

Jamie Richards Equals All Time Record for Season Wins

 

A bumper season for trainer Jamie Richards took a further step when Leaderboard(6 g Street Cry - Flower Fairy, by Dynaformer) won the $11,000 MBS Advisors Rating 74 2000 metres on 16 April at Matamata.

 

With still nearly a quarter of the season remaining, Richards equalled the all-time record (143) of wins, cementing the result with stable-mate Zouluminous (Zoustar) providing a quinella.

Although 2019/20 was memorable, Richards has embellished the record considerably this season. On 28 January, he completed the fastest training century in New Zealand, bettering the previous record by nearly three months, registered 34 stakes wins, $5.57m domestic stakes, plus four stakes wins in Australia, including two Group Ones, and so far trained 12 winners of the 30 Group One races on offer (strike rate 2.5), and 26% of the overall stakes winners.

Leaderboard had continued good form with a solid fifth in the Rating 74 1600 metres on Easter Saturday (3 April) at Awapuni, and a three-time winner to 2400m he appreciated stepping in trip. While Zouluminous had finished third to stable-mate Military Step (Tavistock) in the South Waikato Cup (Open, 2000m) on 17 March at Matamata, and since trialled well for third at Ellerslie.

The pair finished in order of favouritism, as Leaderboard, who raced three back on the outer, got to the outside of Zoulouminous and grabbed victory on the line.

“I was probably a spot further back than I planned on being, but ended up following the stable-mate and got a nice drag into it,” said jockey Craig Grylls. “I was confident a fair way out that I would pick her up. We just had the momentum up and he was trying his guts out, too.”

Grylls felt Leaderboard may struggle to handle heavier ground than the Slow9 on offer, but added that he “got through it okay, today”.

“It was a good effort because I wasn't really sure how he would handle the ground,” Richards said. “But, Gryllsy did a good job of getting him into a nice rhythm, on the back of Zouluminous. He was always going to have the last crack at them and he got there in the last couple of strides.

“It was good to equal the record with a quinella on the home course at Matamata, and both horses ran well.

“He's possibly been a touch disappointing, I guess. We bought him across to Sydney, and he didn't go right-handed, and he's come back in good order and hopefully able to work further through the grades.”

Owned by the Fortuna Leaderboard Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin), Leaderboard was purchased in October 2018 at the Tattersalls sale in the U.K., soon after winning over 2400 metres in Ireland, and by the same sire as Winx.

“Jamie (Richards) is currently in Sydney, preparing three runners for Saturday at Randwick, and he called me this morning to say he thought it could be a bit testing for ‘Tiger' because he suffered on the heavy track at couple of weeks ago at Awapuni,” Galvin said.

“But, as the day unfolded and got sticky rather than sloppy, I thought it could improve his chances and the punters agreed with me because he came down to $2.60 & $1.40.

“He'd had three resuming runs, all good, and finally we've got him to 2000 metres again, which he hadn't raced over since winning over 2000 metres at Riccarton, in 2019. So, he was up in trip, running left-handed, and I thought he showed a dogged finish. Zouluminous was not giving it away and neither was Danielle (Johnson).

“Craig (Grylls) has a tremendous strike rate for us and although he doesn't ride them very often I can't remember when he was last beaten on a Fortuna horse.

“We have quite a few owners in the horse and many that have travelled long distances to be here today. I would like to acknowledge Ian Upson, who has been a stalwart with Fortuna over many years. He's in many of our horses, including Melody Belle, and he's up to 83 or 84 individual wins.”

Leaderboard was strapped by Sumeet Pillay.

 

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz

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