Paul Matchett’s SA Triple Tiara champion War Of Athena has been withdrawn from the Vodacom Durban July and will take on her own sex, including the likes of Snaith champion Captain’s Ransom, in the Jonnson Workwear Gr1 Garden Province Stakes on the same afternoon.
Veteran conditioner Paul Matchett withdrew War Of Athena at 08h05 on Thursday morning from the July and told the Sporting Post that the 3yo star had her whole career ahead of her still.
“When you have a young prizefighter, one doesn’t throw them into the ring with streetfighters. You allow them time to develop and mature and we can come back next year to win the Vodacom Durban July,” added Matchett.
He said that the July was inevitably a rough and tough race and that his filly was still maturing.
“We have kept her going for ten months and she has given us her heart and soul. We will rather take on her own sex and clash with the likes of Captain’s Ransom in the Garden Province – and that should make for a fascinating contest,” he added.
He said that he had discussed the plans with the Wentzels, who have enjoyed such a wonderful season with their small string of horses.
“I don’t have the luxury that the big yards enjoy of a whole bunch of top horses. When I get one as good as her, I am going to look after her every step of the journey.”
Muzi Yeni will ride War Of Athena in the Garden Province.
Paul Matchett has had a remarkable run of success in recent years with budget priced stars.
A real soldier, War Of Athena made it six graded victories on the trot when winning the Gr1 Woolavington 2000 at Hollywoodbets Greyville at the end of May.
She was bred by Summerhill Stud and is out of Requiem mare Qaphela.
A R30 000 buy from the 2019 Ready To Run Sale, she is raced by Roy and Dr Rose Wentzel.
The Zimbabwe born Paul Matchett had his first job in racing as a starting stall handler.
After matriculating in 1980 he worked in a bank as a teller for a year, but quickly realised it wasn’t the life for him. He was then taken on as an assistant trainer by the legendary Ginger Halfpenny, where he spent five years. He then moved on to Neil Bruss for another five-year stint.
In 1990 he received his trainer’s licence and set out on his own.
It wasn’t long before he made his mark as a three-time Zimbabwe champion trainer before relocating down here in 2002.
- Vodacom Durban July final declarations close at 11h00 on Monday 21 June.
- The announcement of the final field of 18 plus 2 reserve runners, and their barrier draws, will take place on Tuesday 22 June.
Here are the weights for the Garden Province Stakes:
Fillies and Mares at Weight-For-Age
WFA: 2yrs-9.5kgs 3yrs-1kgs
No Apprentice Allowance
|11||Lady Of Steel||Accepted||(4F)||60||111||BA||J A Janse van Vuuren|
|3||Mount Laurel||(4F)||60||108||A||Wendy Whitehead|
|13||Rio’s Winter||(4F)||60||105||AT||Stephen Moffatt|
|12||Cockney Pride||(4F)||60||99||AT||Corne Spies|
|15||Flashy Kaitrina||(4F)||60||80||BA||Kumaran Naidoo|
|16||Captain’s Ransom||Accepted||(3F)||59||126||A||Justin Snaith|
|1||War Of Athena||(3F)||59||122||A||Paul Matchett|
|9||Princess Calla||Accepted||(3F)||59||118||A||Adam Marcus|
|6||Chat Ching||(3F)||59||114||A||Candice Bass-Robinson|
|8||Caya Coco||(3F)||59||110||A||Glen Kotzen|
|4||Freestate Star||(3F)||59||108||A||Dennis Drier|
|18||Love Bomb||(3F)||59||108||BA||Frank Robinson|
|7||Hugs Accepted||(3F)||59||105||A||Peter Muscutt|
|17||Ecstatic Green||(3F)||59||102||A||Sean Tarry|
|19||Only The Brave||(3F)||59||97||AT||Paul Matchett|