Leaderboard wins for Fortuna at Matamata 16th April

Leaderboard (6yo g Street Cry – Flower Fairy) put in a strong performance at Matamata Friday 16th of April in winning the Rating 74 2000m  event in determined fashion – the margin may have been tight at the line (half a head),  but the manner of his win was a talking point amongst his connections after the race.

Drawing barrier three in a field of eight runners, the race plan was to let him settle in just behind the leaders, however a few runners were keen to push forward and rider Craig Grylls was content to let Leaderboard relax and he landed in a spot one off the rail with two runners behind him. The race was run at a steady clip, Grylls got going from about the 650 metre mark and mounted a strong run from there to the point of the turn.  On turning the stablemate Zouluminous, in the hands of premiership leading jockey, Danielle Johnson, had kicked away to a good lead and seemed to have the winning of the race at her mercy – however “Tiger” was not to be denied and with a strong determined finishing run got up to win the race in the last two strides by half a head, much to the joy of his solid contingent of supporters who were on track to witness.

Click HERE to see race replay

LEADERBOARD winning at Matamata 16th April – Craig Grylls in the saddle

Trainer Jamie Richards was not present on the day, being in Sydney but after the race he said “that was a really good effort – this morning I was unsure if he would handle the wet track, however drying conditions during the day of played into his favour – he was very nicely ridden by Craig and getting up on trip to 2000, which is what he’s been looking for really suited him – congrats to John Galvin and his big ownership team – they have been very patient with this horse.”

Rider Craig Grylls had a big smile on his face after the race saying “that was a strong effort – he was going really well in the run – I was confident a long way out and although Danielle‘s horse had a nice break on me on turning, I was confident that that we would pick her up”

Fortuna director John Galvin was on course along with around 25 syndicate members and said “that was super wasn’t it? It has been a long time between drinks with his horse as he hasn’t won since November 2019 – things didn’t always go his way after that win and he fell into a bit of a hole in his form, but after a good freshen up, he did trial very strongly at July at Te Rapa and that gave us the confidence to try him in Sydney in the spring – however a combination of very firm tracks over there and going right-handed was his undoing, so we brought him home – he then ran into a blood issue which we had to get right, but his three runs at a mile since resuming  in January have all been very good and we had a fair degree of confidence that once he got up to a 2000 metre trip he could win. It was a really nice ride from Craig Grylls –  Craig doesn’t ride a lot for us, but has often been our go to rider and always rides very well for us. Congrats to Jamie Richards for getting this horse back to his best and I am very happy that this win today was Jamie’s 143rd win for the season, an all time record equalling feat – a  big thanks also to Te Akau Racing Manager Libby Richards for deputising for Jamie today in his absence.”

Bred by Godophin, Leaderboard was purchased at the 2018 Tattersalls sale for 70,000 guineas with the horse being picked out of the sale by international Bloodstock agent Hubie DeBurgh on behalf of Fortuna, after  winning a Maiden race in Ireland at 2400m previously.

Definite ongoing race plans have yet to be determined but the R74 2400 meter race at Te Rapa on 1st of May looks to be an appealing target

Leaderboard is raced by the Fortuna Leaderboard Syndicate and ownership group consisting of 61 individuals and was strapped on the day by Sumeet Pillay