She was the long shot of Chris Waller’s three runners but Matiya’s Pride had no idea and won like Waller’s favourite, Madam Nash, should have in the $85,000 De Bortoli Wines (BM83) Handicap (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Matiya's Pride and apprentice Alysha Collett, picture Sportpix.com.au
Since arriving from far north Queensland, there has been two sides to Matiya’s Pride, the capable mare who notched back to back wins, but also the seven-year-old who looked past it with a couple of bad failures.
On Saturday the capable mare was back notching another win for Waller, and upsetting the punters by beating home her more fancied rivals.
Ridden by Young New Zealand apprentice Alicia Collett, who is in Australia for two week on work experience with Waller, Matiya’s pride missed the jump but kicked up and sat behind race leader, stablemate and favourite, Madam Nash (Schofield).
Collett sat quietly until just as the field straightened for home where she hooked around the heels of the leader and set out for the finishing post.
The sprint wasn’t brilliant but it was good enough to edge clear and strong enough to hold off any challengers over the final half furlong to score an upset win.
At the line the margin was a length to Shadow Minister (Brown) with a further three and three quarters to Natch Catch (Ward) in third place. The overall time was 1.31.30 with the last 600m run in 36.26.
“No weight on her back, 51kg,” stable representative Liam Prior said. “Got a lovely run in the trail, and to Alicia’s credit she rode her very well, she was slow away but got her into a position.
“She travelled well and kicked in the straight and it was a good win.”
“I am definitely (excited),” Collett said. “I wasn’t expecting (to win).
“I got an scholarship to come (from NZ) for two weeks and work with Chris Waller, it has been a great experience.
“(After a slow starts) I got her into a nice position then all I did was pull her off (the fence) and we had it won.”
Matiya’s Pride is by Lion Hunter out of the Celestial Dancer (IRE) mare Matiya and is owned by A Pozzebon.