Amarelinha grabbed a comfortable win in Group 2 of the Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic (1600m) in Ellerslie yesterday. Photo / Kirstin Ledington
Young gun trainer Jamie Richards has written another page for himself in New Zealand’s racing history books and this is one that will probably never be matched.
The 30-year-old coached six winners at the giant gathering of Ellerslie Boxing Day, the first time any coach has coached six people a day on the country’s main tracks, let alone on such a big race day. And they came in consecutive races.
Other coaches have had six winning days on the smaller tracks, but never at the racing base.
One of Matamata Richards’ idols, Dave O’Sullivan, holds the previous record, which was also set on Boxing Day in 1993, when he coached five winners.
O’Sullivan’s son Lance picked up six winners that day but neither coach has a six-win pocket and Richards, coach for Te Akau, also finished second and third in the other two races.
Even for a young man who almost dominated our training rankings, this was something special of a ninth ranked coach in the world.
“These big days are special for all of us, this is why we got out of bed and worked so hard,” said Richards.
“A lot of people have helped this day happen and it’s something I will never forget.”
The six timekeeper started with the Palamos, who looked to be a ready-made favorite for the Karaka Million winning youth race while Entriviere saw open-class material push away its rivals in race four.
Vamos Bebe’s win at the listed Hallmark Stud Sprint did not come without a cloud over him as he bled immediately after the race, forcing a mandatory three month retreat from the race.
The black type acquired yesterday has added further sparkle to the value of his already enormous commercial broodmare but Richards says he may not be retired yet even if it would be a viable option.
Brando looked like a new three-year-old boy with the way he beat his rivals at the top of the Shaw Wire Ropes Uncle Remus gave Richards his fourth win and took the lead next to the Levin Classic at Trentham, where Group 1 triumph looks like his to take.
Mai Tai then stormed the house to claim the Stella Artois Final worth $ 80,000 for a 1500m intermediate horse.
But even after the five beautiful runners, Richards thinks he may have saved the best for last because Amarelinha, only at his third start, won the Group 2 Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic.
He raced past his little rivals on the home side and ran under Opie Bosson, who divided Richards’ six coaching winners with Danielle Johnson.
“We had a lot of talent on display today, but he’s probably the most interesting,” said Richards.
“He’s still untouched and now heading to the Karaka Classic Mile and there should be a chance.”
The six-time timekeeper led Richards to 78 victories in the national premier league, a remarkable 44 wins from second-placed Stephen Marsh who also won twice yesterday. Richards’ catch took him to 13 black-type wins for the season and on the verge of $ 2 million in stakes in New Zealand, without supplementing Probabeel’s hefty Australian earnings.
With a season in less than five months, Richards has had seven months to try and work past $ 4.48 million rivals Murray Baker and home to Andrew Forsman acquired in the 2017-18 season.
A key meeting in the chase is the night of the Karaka Million on January 23, but after yesterday nothing surprised Richards next.
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