Matamata Double - Lightning Strikes

Date: 20 Apr 2024

Matamata Double - Lightning Strikes

Following three good performances on the home course, Lightning Dream (3 f Rip Van Winkle – Alana’s Dream, by Bernardini) broke through in the $17,000 Auto Super Shoppe Maiden 1600 metres on 19 April at Matamata. 

Having tracked winner I Am Groot when finishing strongly for second in the Maiden 1400 metres on 27 March, with two notable fourths prior, Lightning Dream rated a top three chance.

Ridden by jockey premiership leader Warren Kennedy, who continues a strong association with Te Akau and captured his 100th win this season in the process, Lightning Dream got back last in the running, giving the leaders 10 lengths 600m out, but she improved quickly into the clear turning for home and sustained a strong finish.

“From the gate (9) she really struggled early, so I left her alone and let her find her feet,” Kennedy said.

“She relaxed beautifully and finished strongly and I think she’ll definitely get over more ground.”

On Soft6 footing, then downgraded to Soft7, Lightning Dream ran 1600 metres in 1:38.5, last 600m in 39.0 (approx.), and as race favourite paid $3.50 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It was good ride of Warren’s to get her into the action from that far back,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“She’s a made a really promising start to her racing career, been consistent before winning at her fourth start, and I think she’ll only improve with more maturity and strengthening as a four-year-old.

“She has the potential to make into a nice staying handicapper as a four and five-year-old mare.

“It was good to get the Maiden win under her belt in the first campaign, and we’ll set her aside for a good spell now.”

Owned by Te Akau Rip Rip Ro Ray Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Lightning Dream was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $40,000, from the draft of Windsor Park Stud, at the 2022 Karaka Book 1 Sale. 

By Rip Van Winkle (Galileo), who stood at Windsor Park, the sire of great Te Akau racehorse and dual Group One winner Te Akau Shark, Lightning Dream is from a mare by world renowned sire Bernardini (A. P. Indy), who left nearly 100 stakes' winners including 25 Group One.

Lightning Dream became the fifth winner of 15 races for dam Alana’s Dream, a winner over 1600 metres in Australia, in turn from impressive four-time winner Dominatrix (Marauding), a stakes winner that left five winners of 14 races. 

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “She’s a nice filly that walked well, correct, and is out a mare by a quality sire (Bernardini) that is doing a good job at stud. She’s had four foals to race and they’ve all been winners.

“Bred and prepared by a top stud, she was particularly good buying at the price ($40,000) and should be quick to sell.”

Alana’s Dream has a cross to legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Lightning Dream was strapped by Tamweer Alam.

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