Shards Matrix (NZ) Shows Class in Sapling Stakes Debut
9 June 2023
Shards Matrix (NZ) (Sweet Lou) produced a perfect debut when speeding to victory in the $41,000 Group Two Rakaia Seed Cleaning Sapling Stakes (1700m) at Ashburton on Sunday.
The NZB Standardbred graduate had the last say in the time-honoured feature when spearing through along the passing lane to score.
Shards Matrix was purchased by Brent White Racing for $30,000 when he was offered among the Shard Farm draft at the 2022 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch.
Brent White syndicated the two-year-old among several stable clients and he trains Shards Matrix alongside son Tim.
Tim White scored his first Group race victory as a trainer when Shards Matrix dived along the inner to head a quinella of NZB Standardbred graduates with A Little Silence (NZ) (Downbytheseaside).
The White stable targeted the Sapling Stakes as the starting point for Shards Matrix’s career and had him primed for a sensational debut.
“He’s always been a good mover, he’s quite a solid, stocky fellow,” Tim White said.
“We gave him 10 days out after he qualified, and we got him back in just for this race.”
Sarah O’Reilly gave Shards Matrix an economical trip three back on the markers.
And once the two-year-old got into clear air, he sped home to win.
Though Shards Matrix was a little green in the run home, he is sure to develop into an even more potent force.
“I just let him do his own thing, he travelled well,” O’Reilly said.
“It was the first time we pulled the hood today – usually the plugs have stayed in.”
“He went to pull up on me, but then he got going again once I urged him on.”
A solid Sapling Stakes tempo was set up by another of the White stable’s NZB Standardbred graduates in Commander Joe (NZ) (Art Major).
The two-year-old fought on strongly in the run home for an excellent fourth placing.
Shards Matrix is the fifth winner from standout producer Lady Gaga (NZ) (Christian Cullen) and he was bred by long-time yearling sales vendors Mark and Debbie Smith.
Race Photo:Harness Link NZ