Mataderos goes back-to-back in DG Jones

By Joshua Smith, HRNZ

26 September 2022

Mataderos joined a select group of trotters when taking out the Group 3 Majestic Son DG Jones Banks Peninsula Cup (2810m) at Motukarara Raceway on Sunday.

The Robert and Jenna Dunn-trained gelding became just the fourth horse to record back-to-back victories in the race, joining Lyell Creek (1999, 2000), Call You Later (2002,2003) and Springbank Richard (2009, 2010).

The son of Dream Vacation made a tardily start from behind the 20m tape but was quickly settled by driver John Dunn and found the back of Matua Tana, who they tracked throughout.

Mataderos found himself in the coveted one-one position with a lap to go, which he enjoyed before Dunn launched his charge three-wide turning for home where he was able to distance his rivals to score a 3-1/4 length victory over Oscar Bonavena, with a further 2-1/2 lengths back to stablemate Ardiebythehill.

“Things turned out great for us, he got a good trip, and we were able to capitalise on it,” John Dunn said.

“He has got a great record on the grass. He won that race last year, so it was good to win it again.”

Mataderos is on a path towards the Group 1 Dominion Trot (3200m) at Addington Raceway in November and is looming once again as one of the biggest threats to stablemate Sundees Son in the trotting feature.

“He ran second to Sundees Son in the Dominion last year. There is another year on him so hopefully he is a bit tougher,” Dunn said.

“He will go to the Canterbury Park now and then Kaikoura before going to the Dominion.”

Bred by Yabby Dam Farms, Mataderos is out of six-time Group One winner La Coocaracha and is living up to his breeding.

He won three of his 15 starts in Australia before he was purchased by Auckland owner and administrator Jamie McKinnon, whose son Jack was working at Yabby Dam at the time.

He has gone on to win 10 races in New Zealand and more than $160,000 in stakes.

Dunn was also pleased with the brave performance of stablemate Ardiebythehill.

“I was happy with him too,” Dunn said. “He did a fair bit early and had to burn a bit of petrol to find the front. He got a nice trail again and stuck to his guns up the straight to run third.

“He is definitely learning to race around our way of going more and more.”