Andrew Carston’s prospects of winning the Gr.2 J. Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) were dashed late last week.
The Riccarton trainer had set Miss Federer for the Matamata feature after her courageous last-start win in the Gr.3 Woburn Farm 2YO Classic (1200m) at New Plymouth, but instead of competing on Saturday the Swiss Ace filly will instead be recovering from an operation.
Miss Federer had been stabled at Stephen McKee’s Ardmore property since her Taranaki win and Carston made a special trip north from Christchurch last Monday afternoon to ride her in work the following morning.
“She never works any good and she galloped okay, but I decided to get the vet to check her over to be sure everything was all right,’’ Carston said.
‘’She was x-rayed and a small bone chip was found in her off-foreleg. The vets say it’s a minor operation.”
Miss Federer underwent the operation in Matamata on Monday and will be given plenty of time to recover.
‘’She’ll miss the autumn but should be back for the spring,’’ Carston said.
“It’s a shame she’ll miss the Matamata Breeders’, but looking on the positive side it could be a blessing in disguise. She has done plenty this campaign and really it’s not the end of the world. It would have been worse if something had have happened in a race.”
A $10,000 purchase by Carston from the National Yearling Sales at Karaka, Miss Federer is raced by an enthusiastic group of South Islanders, three from Christchurch and seven from Central Otago, and they’ve had a lot of fun with the bargain buy.
In five starts she has recorded three wins and a third with two of the victories being black-type. It was on the strength of her win in the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton that she was taken north in pursuit of a tilt at the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), but she failed in her lead-up at Ellerslie and missed the $1 million feature.
‘’I nearly packed up and took her home after she went so badly at Ellerslie,’’ Carston said. ‘’It was a disaster, but fortunately I decided to give her another chance at New Plymouth back left-handed. I was hoping she would go well, but I wasn’t expecting the result we got.’’
Miss Federer’s setback is a blow for Carston, but it wasn’t all bad news last week for his stable. Last Thursday he saddled up two winners, Strowan and Sharp ‘N’ Silver, and a quinella at his local meeting.
‘’As well as the two wins, we had three placings, and they all went well,’’ Carston said. ‘’I’ve got a nice young team coming through.’’
The team includes Severine, a Pins three-year-old filly who cleared maiden ranks at the New Zealand Cup meeting and will chase black-type at Wingatui on March 2 in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m), the second leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year series.
“She’s always shown plenty and she’s strengthened up,’’ Carston said. ‘’She deserves her crack at the fillies’ series down here. If she goes well at Wingatui she can run in the next one, the Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton, but I’m not sure she’ll get the 2000m of the last one in the series, the Warstep Stakes.” - NZ Racing Desk