HIGHLY LIKELY wins again – this time at Matamata

FORTUNA SYNDICATES four year old Gelding, HIGHLY LIKELY, showed that his debut win at Te Aroha in June, at just his second race day start, was no fluke, when taking out the Rating 65 1600 event at Matamata today. Freshened since his June win, connections regarded today’s distance as probably too short for this strapping son of High Chapparral out of the Volksraad mare Starrinka  and with track conditions steadily drying out, there was also a concern that the going may be too good for him. In his favour was a good barrier draw, blinkers for the first time and a 3kg weight allowance for apprentice jockey, Lee Magorrian. The horse just dwelt slightly at the start, however, his rider soon had him up on the rail just in behind the leaders and enjoyed a lovely run in transit. Magorrian peeled him out as they straightened and he burst to lead with 150 metres to go, however faced a stern challenge from Thats How We Roll, who was finishing like a train down the outside, but in a dramatic head bobbing finish, HIGHLY LIKELY got the nod from the judge. Click HERE to see the race replay

FORTUNA Director, John Galvin, who was on track along with a number of the Syndicate Members, was naturally proud of his charge. “He is a lovely horse, a real stayer in the making, he has come on beautifully since his Te Aroha win and still has a lot of maturing to do yet; we probably won’t see the best of him until he is a five and six year old. Full credit to the Te Akau team for their work with this horse; in particular Jamie Richards who rides him in most of his work and has taken him up Ann Brown’s hill at Cambridge a few time recently; this has contributed to his development and fitness levels as well.”

Trained by Jason Bridgman of Te Akau Racing, HIGHLY LIKELY was the top priced lot at the 2012 South Island sale, where he was selected on behalf of Fortuna by Te Akau Racing Supremo, David Ellis. The horse is raced by the Fortuna Highly Likely Syndicate, an ownership group consisting of 25 individuals.

Fortuna 3yo HIGHLY LIKELY winning Te Aroha 18th June 2014
Fortuna 3yo HIGHLY LIKELY winning Te Aroha 18th June 2014 – Picture courtesy of Race Images Palmerston North